Posts Tagged spatial resolution

Recent Postings from spatial resolution

EMMA: an AMR cosmological simulation code with radiative transfer

EMMA is a cosmological simulation code aimed at investigating the reionization epoch. It handles simultaneously collisionless and gas dynamics, as well as radiative transfer physics using a moment-based description with the M1 approximation. Field quantities are stored and computed on an adaptive 3D mesh and the spatial resolution can be dynamically modified based on physically-motivated criteria. Physical processes can be coupled at all spatial and temporal scales. We also introduce a new and optional approximation to handle radiation : the light is transported at the resolution of the non-refined grid and only once the dynamics have been fully updated, whereas thermo-chemical processes are still tracked on the refined elements. Such an approximation reduces the overheads induced by the treatment of radiation physics. A suite of standard tests are presented and passed by EMMA, providing a validation for its future use in studies of the reionization epoch. The code is parallel and is able to use graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate hydrodynamics and radiative transfer calculations. Depending on the optimizations and the compilers used to generate the CPU reference, global GPU acceleration factors between x3.9 and x16.9 can be obtained. Vectorization and transfer operations currently prevent better GPU performances and we expect that future optimizations and hardware evolution will lead to greater accelerations.

Probing the Sun with ALMA: observations and simulations

ALMA will open a new chapter in the study of the Sun by providing a leap in spatial resolution and sensitivity compared to currently available mm wave- length observations. In preparation of ALMA, we have carried out a large number of observational tests and state-of-the-art radiation MHD simulations. Here we review the best available observations of the Sun at millimeter wavelengths.Using state of the art radiation MHD simulations of the solar atmosphere we demonstrate the huge potential of ALMA observations for uncovering the nature of the solar chromosphere. We show that ALMA will not only provide a reliable probe of the thermal structure and dynamics of the chromosphere, it will also open up a powerful new diagnostic of magnetic field at chromospheric heights, a fundamentally important, but so far poorly known parameter.

The Influence of Spatial Resolution on Nonlinear Force-Free Modeling

The nonlinear force-free field (NLFFF) model is often used to describe the solar coronal magnetic field, however a series of earlier studies revealed difficulties in the numerical solution of the model in application to photospheric boundary data. We investigate the sensitivity of the modeling to the spatial resolution of the boundary data, by applying multiple codes that numerically solve the NLFFF model to a sequence of vector magnetogram data at different resolutions, prepared from a single Hinode/SOT-SP scan of NOAA Active Region 10978 on 2007 December 13. We analyze the resulting energies and relative magnetic helicities, employ a Helmholtz decomposition to characterize divergence errors, and quantify changes made by the codes to the vector magnetogram boundary data in order to be compatible with the force-free model. This study shows that NLFFF modeling results depend quantitatively on the spatial resolution of the input boundary data, and that using more highly resolved boundary data yields more self-consistent results. The free energies of the resulting solutions generally trend higher with increasing resolution, while relative magnetic helicity values vary significantly between resolutions for all methods. All methods require changing the horizontal components, and for some methods also the vertical components, of the vector magnetogram boundary field in excess of nominal uncertainties in the data. The solutions produced by the various methods are significantly different at each resolution level. We continue to recommend verifying agreement between the modeled field lines and corresponding coronal loop images before any NLFFF model is used in a scientific setting.

High-Rate Capable Floating Strip Micromegas [Cross-Listing]

We report on the optimization of discharge insensitive floating strip Micromegas (MICRO-MEsh GASeous) detectors, fit for use in high-energy muon spectrometers. The suitability of these detectors for particle tracking is shown in high-background environments and at very high particle fluxes up to 60MHz/cm$^2$. Measurement and simulation of the microscopic discharge behavior have demonstrated the excellent discharge tolerance. A floating strip Micromegas with an active area of 48cm$\times$50cm with 1920 copper anode strips exhibits in 120GeV pion beams a spatial resolution of 50$\mu$m at detection efficiencies above 95%. Pulse height, spatial resolution and detection efficiency are homogeneous over the detector. Reconstruction of particle track inclination in a single detector plane is discussed, optimum angular resolutions below $5^\circ$ are observed. Systematic deviations of this $\mu$TPC-method are fully understood. The reconstruction capabilities for minimum ionizing muons are investigated in a 6.4cm$\times$6.4cm floating strip Micromegas under intense background irradiation of the whole active area with 20MeV protons at a rate of 550kHz. The spatial resolution for muons is not distorted by space charge effects. A 6.4cm$\times$6.4cm floating strip Micromegas doublet with low material budget is investigated in highly ionizing proton and carbon ion beams at particle rates between 2MHz and 2GHz. Stable operation up to the highest rates is observed, spatial resolution, detection efficiencies, the multi-hit and high-rate capability are discussed.

SOLIS/VSM Polar Magnetic Field Data

The Vector Spectromagnetograph (VSM) instrument on the Synoptic Optical Long-term Investigations of the Sun (SOLIS) telescope is designed to obtain high-quality magnetic field observations in both the photosphere and chromosphere by measuring the Zeeman-induced polarization of spectral lines. With 1$^{\prime \prime}$ spatial resolution (1.14$^{\prime \prime}$ before 2010) and 0.05\AA\ spectral resolution, the VSM provides, among other products, chromospheric full-disk magnetograms using the CaII 854.2 nm spectral line and both photospheric full-disk vector and longitudinal magnetograms using the FeI 630.15 nm line. Here we describe the procedure used to compute daily weighted averages of the photospheric radial polar magnetic field at different latitude bands from SOLIS/VSM longitudinal full-disk observations. Time series of these measurements are publicly available from the SOLIS website at http://solis.nso.edu/0/vsm/vsm\_plrfield.html. Future plans include the calculation of the mean polar field strength from SOLIS/VSM chromospheric observations and the determination of the {\it true} radial polar field from SOLIS/VSM full-Stokes measurements.

AMBER-NACO aperture-synthesis imaging of the half-obscured central star and the edge-on disk of the red giant L2 Pup

The red giant L2 Pup started a dimming event in 1994, which is considered to be caused by the ejection of dust clouds. We present near-IR aperture-synthesis imaging of L2 Pup achieved by combining data from VLT/NACO speckle observations and long-baseline interferometric observations with the AMBER instrument of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI). We also extracted an 8.7 micron image from the mid-IR VLTI instrument MIDI. Our aim is to spatially resolve the innermost region of the circumstellar environment. The diffraction-limited image at 2.27 micron obtained by bispectrum speckle interferometry with NACO with a spatial resolution of 57 mas shows an elongated component. The aperture-synthesis imaging combining the NACO speckle data and AMBER data (2.2–2.29 micron) with a spatial resolution of 5.6×7.3 mas further resolves not only this elongated component, but also the central star. The reconstructed image reveals that the elongated component is a nearly edge-on disk with a size of ~180×50 mas lying in the E-W direction, and furthermore, that the southern hemisphere of the central star is severely obscured by the equatorial dust lane of the disk. The angular size of the disk is consistent with the distance that the dust clouds that were ejected at the onset of the dimming event should have traveled by the time of our observations, if we assume that the dust clouds moved radially. This implies that the formation of the disk may be responsible for the dimming event. The 8.7 micron image with a spatial resolution of 220 mas extracted from the MIDI data taken in 2004 (seven years before the AMBER and NACO observations) shows an approximately spherical envelope without a signature of the disk. This suggests that the mass loss before the dimming event may have been spherical.

The impact from survey depth and resolution on the morphological classification of galaxies

We consistently analyse for the first time the impact of survey depth and spatial resolution on the most used morphological parameters for classifying galaxies through non-parametric methods: Abraham and Conselice-Bershady concentration indices, Gini, M20 moment of light, asymmetry, and smoothness. Three different non-local datasets are used, ALHAMBRA and SXDS (examples of deep ground-based surveys), and COSMOS (deep space-based survey). We used a sample of 3000 local, visually classified galaxies, measuring their morphological parameters at their real redshifts (z ~ 0). Then we simulated them to match the redshift and magnitude distributions of galaxies in the non-local surveys. The comparisons of the two sets allow to put constraints on the use of each parameter for morphological classification and evaluate the effectiveness of the commonly used morphological diagnostic diagrams. All analysed parameters suffer from biases related to spatial resolution and depth, the impact of the former being much stronger. When including asymmetry and smoothness in classification diagrams, the noise effects must be taken into account carefully, especially for ground-based surveys. M20 is significantly affected, changing both the shape and range of its distribution at all brightness levels.We suggest that diagnostic diagrams based on 2 – 3 parameters should be avoided when classifying galaxies in ground-based surveys, independently of their brightness; for COSMOS they should be avoided for galaxies fainter than F814 = 23.0. These results can be applied directly to surveys similar to ALHAMBRA, SXDS and COSMOS, and also can serve as an upper/lower limit for shallower/deeper ones.

Spectroscopic observations of evolving flare ribbon substructure suggesting origin in current sheet waves

We present imaging and spectroscopic observations from the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) of the evolution of the flare ribbon in the SOL2014-04-18T13:03 M-class flare event, at high spatial resolution and time cadence. These observations reveal small-scale substructure within the ribbon, which manifests as coherent quasi-periodic oscillations in both position and Doppler velocities. We consider various alternative explanations for these oscillations, including modulation of chromospheric evaporation flows. Among these we find the best support for some form of wave localized to the coronal current sheet, such as a tearing mode or Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.

Galaxy evolution within the Kilo-Degree Survey

The ESO Public Kilo-Degree Survey (KiDS) is an optical wide-field imaging survey carried out with the VLT Survey Telescope and the OmegaCAM camera. KiDS will scan 1500 square degrees in four optical filters (u, g, r, i). Designed to be a weak lensing survey, it is ideal for galaxy evolution studies, thanks to the high spatial resolution of VST, the good seeing and the photometric depth. The surface photometry have provided with structural parameters (e.g. size and S\’ersic index), aperture and total magnitudes have been used to derive photometric redshifts from Machine learning methods and stellar masses/luminositites from stellar population synthesis. Our project aimed at investigating the evolution of the colour and structural properties of galaxies with mass and environment up to redshift $z \sim 0.5$ and more, to put constraints on galaxy evolution processes, as galaxy mergers.

Highly Multiplexible Thermal Kinetic Inductance Detectors for X-Ray Imaging Spectroscopy

For X-ray imaging spectroscopy, high spatial resolution over a large field of view is often as important as high energy resolution, but current X-ray detectors do not provide both in the same device. Thermal Kinetic Inductance Detectors (TKIDs) are being developed as they offer a feasible way to combine the energy resolution of transition edge sensors with pixel counts approaching CCDs and thus promise significant improvements for many X-ray spectroscopy applications. TKIDs are a variation of Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) and share their multiplexibility: working MKID arrays with 2024 pixels have recently been demonstrated and much bigger arrays are under development. In this work, we present our first working TKID prototypes which are able to achieve an energy resolution of 75 eV at 5.9 keV, even though their general design still has to be optimized. We further describe TKID fabrication, characterization, multiplexing and working principle and demonstrate the necessity of a data fitting algorithm in order to extract photon energies. With further design optimizations we expect to be able to improve our TKID energy resolution to less than 10 eV at 5.9 keV.

High resolution imaging of NGC 2346 with GSAOI/GeMS: disentangling the planetary nebula molecular structure to understand its origin and evolution

We present high spatial resolution ($\approx$ 60–90 milliarcseconds) images of the molecular hydrogen emission in the Planetary Nebula (PN) NGC 2346. The data were acquired during the System Verification of the Gemini Multi-Conjugate Adaptive Optics System + Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager. At the distance of NGC 2346, 700 pc, the physical resolution corresponds to $\approx$ 56 AU, which is slightly higher than that an [N II] image of NGC 2346 obtained with HST/WFPC2. With this unprecedented resolution we were able to study in detail the structure of the H$_2$ gas within the nebula for the first time. We found it to be composed of knots and filaments, which at lower resolution had appeared to be a uniform torus of material. We explain how the formation of the clumps and filaments in this PN is consistent with a mechanism in which a central hot bubble of nebular gas surrounding the central star has been depressurized, and the thermal pressure of the photoionized region drives the fragmentation of the swept-up shell.

HST/WFC3 Observations of an Off-Nuclear Superbubble in Arp 220

We present a high spatial resolution optical and infrared study of the circumnuclear region in Arp 220, a late-stage galaxy merger. Narrowband imaging using HST/WFC3 has resolved the previously observed peak in H$\alpha$+[NII] emission into a bubble-shaped feature. This feature measures 1.6" in diameter, or 600 pc, and is only 1" northwest of the western nucleus. The bubble is aligned with the western nucleus and the large-scale outflow axis seen in X-rays. We explore several possibilities for the bubble origin, including a jet or outflow from a hidden active galactic nucleus (AGN), outflows from high levels of star formation within the few hundred pc nuclear gas disk, or an ultraluminous X-ray source. An obscured AGN or high levels of star formation within the inner $\sim$100 pc of the nuclei are favored based on the alignment of the bubble and energetics arguments.

Evolution of Near-surface Flows Inferred from High-resolution Ring-diagram Analysis

Ring-diagram analysis of acoustic waves observed at the photosphere can provide a relatively robust determination of the sub-surface flows at a particular time under a particular region. The depth of penetration of the waves is related to the size of the region, hence the depth extent of the measured flows is inversely proportional to the spatial resolution. Most ring-diagram analysis has focused on regions of extent ~15{\deg} (180 Mm) or more in order to provide reasonable mode sets for inversions. HMI data analysis also provides a set of ring fit parameters on a scale three times smaller. These provide flow estimates for the outer 1% (7 Mm) of the Sun only, with very limited depth resolution, but with spatial resolution adequate to map structures potentially associated with the belts and regions of magnetic activity. There are a number of systematic effects affecting the determination of flows from local helioseismic analysis of regions over different parts of the observable disk, not all well understood. In this study we characterize those systematic effects with higher spatial resolution, so that they may more effectively be accounted for in mapping temporal and spatial evolution of the flows. Leaving open the question of the mean structure of the global meridional circulation and the differential rotation, we describe the near-surface flow anomalies in time and latitude corresponding to the torsional oscillation pattern in differential rotation and analogous patterns in the meridional cell structure as observed by SDO/HMI.

Resolving structure of the disk around HD100546 at 7 mm with ATCA

There is much evidence that planet formation is occurring in the disk around the Herbig Be star HD100546. To learn more about the processes occurring in this disk we conducted high resolution imaging at 43/45 GHz with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA). Multiple array configurations were used, providing a best spatial resolution of $\sim$ 0.15 arcsec, or 15 AU at HD100546′s distance of $\sim$ 100 pc. Significant structure is revealed, but its precise form is dependent on the $u-v$ plane sampling used for the image reconstruction. At a resolution of $\leq$ 30 AU we detected an inner gap in the disk with a radius of $\sim$ 25 AU and a position angle approximately along the known disk major axis. With different weighting, and an achieved resolution of $\sim$ 15 AU, emission appears at the centre and the disk takes on the shape of an incomplete ring, much like a horseshoe, again with a gap radius of $\sim$ 25 AU. The position angle of the disk major axis and its inclination from face-on are determined to be $140^{\circ}\pm5^{\circ}$ and $40^{\circ}\pm5^{\circ}$ respectively. The $\sim$ 25 AU gap radius is confirmed by a null in the real part of the binned visibilities at 320$\pm$10 k$\lambda$, whilst the non-axisymmetric nature is also confirmed through significant structure in the imaginary component. The emission mechanism at the central peak is most likely to be free-free emission from a stellar or disk wind. Overall our data support the picture of at least one, but probably several, giant planets orbiting HD100546 within 25 AU.

Cyclic behavior of solar inter-network magnetic field

Solar inter-network magnetic field is the weakest component of solar magnetism, but contributes most of the solar surface magnetic flux. The study on its origin has been constrained by the inadequate tempo-spatial resolution and sensitivity of polarization observations. With dramatic advances in spatial resolution and detective sensitivity, solar spectro-polarimetry provided by the Solar Optical Telescope aboard Hinode in an interval from solar minimum to maximum of cycle 24 opens an unprecedented opportunity to study the cyclic behavior of solar inter-network magnetic field. More than 1000 Hinode magnetograms observed from 2007 January to 2014 August are selected in the study. It has been found that there is a very slight correlation between sunspot number and magnetic field at the inter-network flux spectrum. From solar minimum to maximum of cycle 24, the flux density of solar inter-network field is invariant, which is 10$\pm1$ G. The observations suggest that the inter-network magnetic field does not arise from the flux diffusion or flux recycling of solar active regions, thereby indicating the existence of a locally small-scale dynamo. Combining the full-disk magnetograms observed by SOHO/MDI and SDO/HMI in the same period, we find that the area ratio of the inter-network region to the full-disk of the Sun apparently decreases from solar minimum to maximum but always exceeds 60\% even though in the phase of solar maximum.

Examining the T Tauri system with SPHERE

Context. The prototypical low-mass young stellar object, T Tauri, is a well-studied multiple system with at least three components. Aims. We aim to explore the T Tau system with the highest spatial resolution, study the time evolution of the known components, and re-determine the orbital parameters of the stars. Methods. Near-infrared classical imaging and integral field spectrograph observations were obtained during the Science Verification of SPHERE, the new high-contrast imaging facility at the VLT. The obtained FWHM of the primary star varies between 0.050" and 0.059", making these the highest spatial resolution near-infrared images of the T Tauri system obtained to date. Results. Our near-infrared images confirm the presence of extended emission south of T Tau Sa, reported in the literature. New narrow-band images show, for the first time, that this feature shows strong emission in both the Br-{\gamma} and H2 1-0 S(1) lines. Broadband imaging at 2.27 {\mu}m shows that T Tau Sa is 0.92 mag brighter than T Tau Sb, which is in contrast to observations from Jan. 2014 (when T Tau Sa was fainter than Sb), and demonstrates that T Tau Sa has entered a new period of high variability. The newly obtained astrometric positions of T Tau Sa and Sb agree with orbital fits from previous works. The orbit of T Tau S (the center of gravity of Sa and Sb) around T Tau N is poorly constrained by the available observations and can be fit with a range of orbits ranging from a nearly circular orbit with a period of 475 years to highly eccentric orbits with periods up to 2.7*10^4 years. We also detected a feature south of T Tau N, at a distance of $144 \pm 3$ mas, which shows the properties of a new companion.

Examining the T Tauri system with SPHERE [Replacement]

Context. The prototypical low-mass young stellar object, T Tauri, is a well-studied multiple system with at least three components. Aims. We aim to explore the T Tau system with the highest spatial resolution, study the time evolution of the known components, and re-determine the orbital parameters of the stars. Methods. Near-infrared classical imaging and integral field spectrograph observations were obtained during the Science Verification of SPHERE, the new high-contrast imaging facility at the VLT. The obtained FWHM of the primary star varies between 0.050" and 0.059", making these the highest spatial resolution near-infrared images of the T Tauri system obtained to date. Results. Our near-infrared images confirm the presence of extended emission south of T Tau Sa, reported in the literature. New narrow-band images show, for the first time, that this feature shows strong emission in both the Br-{\gamma} and H2 1-0 S(1) lines. Broadband imaging at 2.27 {\mu}m shows that T Tau Sa is 0.92 mag brighter than T Tau Sb, which is in contrast to observations from Jan. 2014 (when T Tau Sa was fainter than Sb), and demonstrates that T Tau Sa has entered a new period of high variability. The newly obtained astrometric positions of T Tau Sa and Sb agree with orbital fits from previous works. The orbit of T Tau S (the center of gravity of Sa and Sb) around T Tau N is poorly constrained by the available observations and can be fit with a range of orbits ranging from a nearly circular orbit with a period of 475 years to highly eccentric orbits with periods up to 2.7*10^4 years. We also detected a feature south of T Tau N, at a distance of $144 \pm 3$ mas, which shows the properties of a new companion.

AGN Reverberation Mapping

Reverberation mapping is now a well-established technique for investigating spatially-unresolved structures in the nuclei of distant galaxies with actively-accreting supermassive black holes. Structural parameters for the broad emission-line region, with angular sizes of microarcseconds, can be constrained through the substitution of time resolution for spatial resolution. Many reverberation experiments over the last 30 years have led to a practical understanding of the requirements necessary for a successful program. With reverberation measurements now in hand for 60 active galaxies, and more on the horizon, we are able to directly constrain black hole masses, derive scaling relationships that allow large numbers of black hole mass estimates throughout the observable Universe, and begin investigating the detailed geometry and kinematics of the broad line region. Reverberation mapping is therefore one of the few techniques available that will allow a deeper understanding of the physical mechanisms involved in AGN feeding and feedback at very small scales, as well as constraints on the growth and evolution of black holes across cosmic time. In this contribution, I will briefly review the background, implementation, and major results derived from this high angular resolution technique.

Feeding versus feedback in AGN from near-infrared Integral Field Spectroscopy X: NGC5929

We present near-infrared emission-line flux distributions, excitation and kinematics, as well as stellar kinematics, of the inner 520×520 pc2$ of the Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC5929. The observations were performed with the Gemini’s Near-Infrared Integral Field Spectrograph (NIFS) at a spatial resolution of 20 pc and spectral resolution of 40km/s in the J- and K-bands. The flux distributions of H2, [FeII], [PII] and recombination lines are extended over most of the field of view, with the highest intensity levels observed along PA=60/240deg, and well correlated with the radio emission. The H2 and [FeII] line emission are originated in thermal processes, mainly due to heating of the gas by X-rays from the central Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN). Contribution of shocks due to the radio jet is observed at locations co-spatial with the radio hotspots at 0.5" northeast and 0.6" southwest of the nucleus, as evidenced by the emission-line ratio and gas kinematics. The stellar kinematics shows rotation with an amplitude at 250pc from the nucleus of 200 km/s after corrected for the inferred inclination of 18.3deg. The stellar velocity dispersion obtained from the integrated K-band spectrum is sigma*=133+/-8 km/s, which implying on a mass for the supermassive black hole of M=5.2E7 Msun, using the M-sigma* relation. The gas kinematics present three components: (1) gas in the plane of the galaxy in counter-rotation relative to the stars; (2) an outflow perpendicular to the radio jet that seems to be due to an equatorial AGN outflow; (3) turbulence of the gas observed in association with the radio hot spots, supporting an interaction of the radio jet with the gas of the disk. We estimated the mass of ionized and warm molecular gas of ~1.3E6 Msun and ~470 Msun, respectively.

Study of photon detection efficiency and position resolution of BESIII electromagnetic calorimeter [Replacement]

We study the photon detection efficiency and position resolution of the electromagnetic calorimeter (EMC) of the BESIII experiment. The control sample of the initial-state-radiation (ISR) process of $e^+e^-\rightarrow \gamma \mu^+\mu^-$ is used at $J/\psi$ and $\psi(3770)$ resonances for the EMC calibration and photon detection efficiency study. Photon detection efficiency is defined as the predicted photon, obtained by performing a kinematic fit with two muon tracks, matched with real photons in the EMC. The spatial resolution of the EMC is defined as the separation in polar ($\theta$) and azimuthal ($\phi$) angles between charged track and associated cluster centroid on the front face of the EMC crystals.

Study of photon detection efficiency and position resolution of BESIII electromagnetic calorimeter [Replacement]

We study the photon detection efficiency and position resolution of the electromagnetic calorimeter (EMC) of the BESIII experiment. The control sample of the initial-state-radiation (ISR) process of $e^+e^-\rightarrow \gamma \mu^+\mu^-$ is used at $J/\psi$ and $\psi(3770)$ resonances for the EMC calibration and photon detection efficiency study. Photon detection efficiency is defined as the predicted photon, obtained by performing a kinematic fit with two muon tracks, matched with real photons in the EMC. The spatial resolution of the EMC is defined as the separation in polar ($\theta$) and azimuthal ($\phi$) angles between charged track and associated cluster centroid on the front face of the EMC crystals.

The peculiar radio galaxy 4C 35.06: a case for recurrent AGN activity?

Using observations obtained with the LOw Fequency ARray (LOFAR), the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) and archival Very Large Array (VLA) data, we have traced the radio emission to large scales in the complex source 4C 35.06 located in the core of the galaxy cluster Abell 407. At higher spatial resolution (~4"), the source was known to have two inner radio lobes spanning 31 kpc and a diffuse, low-brightness extension running parallel to them, offset by about 11 kpc (in projection). At 62 MHz, we detect the radio emission of this structure extending out to 210 kpc. At 1.4 GHz and intermediate spatial resolution (~30"), the structure appears to have a helical morphology. We have derived the characteristics of the radio spectral index across the source. We show that the source morphology is most likely the result of at least two episodes of AGN activity separated by a dormant period of around 35 Myr. The AGN is hosted by one of the galaxies located in the cluster core of Abell 407. We propose that it is intermittently active as it moves in the dense environment in the cluster core. Using LOFAR, we can trace the relic plasma from that episode of activity out to greater distances from the core than ever before. Using the the WSRT, we detect HI in absorption against the center of the radio source. The absorption profile is relatively broad (FWHM of 288 km/s), similar to what is found in other clusters. Understanding the duty cycle of the radio emission as well as the triggering mechanism for starting (or restarting) the radio-loud activity can provide important constraints to quantify the impact of AGN feedback on galaxy evolution. The study of these mechanisms at low frequencies using morphological and spectral information promises to bring new important insights in this field.

The Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager (HMI) Vector Magnetic Field Pipeline: Magnetohydrodynamics Simulation Module for the Global Solar Corona

Time-dependent three-dimensional magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) simulation modules are implemented at the Joint Science Operation Center (JSOC) of Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO). The modules regularly produce three-dimensional data of the time-relaxed minimum-energy state of the solar corona using global solar-surface magnetic-field maps created from Helioseismic Magnetic Imager (HMI) full-disk magnetogram data. With the assumption of polytropic gas with specific heat ratio of 1.05, three types of simulation products are currently generated: i) simulation data with medium spatial resolution using the definitive calibrated synoptic map of the magnetic field with a cadence of one Carrington rotation, ii) data with low spatial resolution using the definitive version of the synchronic frame format of the magnetic field, with a cadence of one day, and iii) low-resolution data using near-real-time (NRT) synchronic format of the magnetic field on daily basis. The MHD data available in the JSOC database are three-dimensional, covering heliocentric distances from 1.025 to 4.975 solar radii, and contain all eight MHD variables: the plasma density, temperature and three components of motion velocity, and three components of the magnetic field. This article describes details of the MHD simulations as well as the production of the input magnetic-field maps, and details of the products available at the JSOC database interface. In order to assess the merits and limits of the model, we show the simulated data in early 2011 and compare with the actual coronal features observed by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) and the near-Earth in-situ data.

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

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

Height variation of the vector magnetic field in solar spicules

Proving the magnetic configuration of solar spicules has hitherto been difficult due to the lack of spatial resolution and image stability during off-limb ground-based observations. We report spectropolarimetric observations of spicules taken in the He I 1083 nm spectral region with the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter II at the German Vacuum Tower Telescope of the Observatorio del Teide (Tenerife; Canary Islands; Spain). The data provide the variation with geometrical height of the Stokes I, Q, U, and V profiles whose encoded information allows the determination of the magnetic field vector by means of the HAZEL inversion code. The inferred results show that the average magnetic field strength at the base of solar spicules is about 80 gauss and then it decreases rapidly with height to about 30 gauss at a height of 3000 km above the visible solar surface. Moreover, the magnetic field vector is close to vertical at the base of the chromosphere and has mid inclinations (about 50 degree) above 2 Mm height.

The $AKARI$ Far-Infrared All-Sky Survey Maps

We present a far-infrared all-sky atlas from a sensitive all-sky survey using the Japanese $AKARI$ satellite. The survey covers $> 99$% of the sky in four photometric bands centred at 65 $\mu$m, 90 $\mu$m, 140 $\mu$m, and 160 $\mu$m with spatial resolutions ranging from 1 to 1.5 arcmin. These data provide crucial information for the investigation and characterisation of the properties of dusty material in the Interstellar Medium (ISM), since significant portion of its energy is emitted between $\sim$50 and 200 $\mu$m. The large-scale distribution of interstellar clouds, their thermal dust temperatures and column densities, can be investigated with the improved spatial resolution compared to earlier all-sky survey observations. In addition to the point source distribution, the large-scale distribution of ISM cirrus emission, and its filamentary structure, are well traced. We have made the first public release of the full-sky data to provide a legacy data set for use by the astronomical community.

Interferometric imaging diagnostics of X Hya's circumstellar environment

Optical interferometry is a powerful tool to investigate the close environment of AGB stars. With a spatial resolution of a few milli-arcseconds, it is even possible to image directly the surface of angularly large objects. This is of special interest forMira stars and red supergiants for which the dust-wind is initiated from or very close to the photosphere by an interplay between pulsation and convection. Based on two-epoch interferometric observations of the Mira star X Hya, we present how the variation of the angular size with wavelength challenges pulsation models and how reconstructed images can reveal the evolution of the object shape and of its asymmetric structures.

Seyfert galaxies with Swift: giant flares, rapid drops, and other surprises

Swift has initiated a new era of understanding the extremes of active galactic nuclei (AGN) variability, their drivers and underlying physics. This is based on its rapid response, high sensitivity, good spatial resolution, and its ability to collect simultaneously X–ray-to-optical SEDs. Here, we present results from our recent monitoring campaigns with Swift of highly variable AGN, including outbursts, deep low states, and unusual long-term trends in several Seyfert galaxies including Mrk 335, WPVS007, and RXJ2314.9+2243. We also report detection of a new X-ray and optical outburst of IC 3599 and our Swift follow-ups. IC 3599 was previously known as one of the AGN with the highest-amplitude outbursts. We briefly discuss implications of this second outburst of IC 3599 for emission scenarios including accretion-disk variability, repeat tidal disruption events, and the presence of a binary supermassive black hole.

Co-spatial Long-slit UV/Optical Spectra of Ten Galactic Planetary Nebulae with HST/STIS I. Description of the Observations, Global Emission-line Measurements, and CNO Abundances

We present observations and initial analysis from an HST/STIS program to obtain the first co-spatial, UV-optical spectra of ten Galactic planetary nebulae (PNe). Our primary objective was to measure the critical emission lines of carbon and nitrogen with unprecedented S/N and spatial resolution over UV-optical range, with the ultimate goal of quantifying the production of these elements in low- and intermediate-mass stars. Our sample was selected from PNe with a near-solar metallicity, but spanning a broad range in N/O. This study, the first of a series, concentrates on the observations and emission-line measurements obtained by integrating along the entire spatial extent of the slit. We derived ionic and total elemental abundances for the seven PNe with the strongest UV line detections (IC~2165, IC~3568, NGC~2440, NGC~3242, NGC~5315, NGC~5882, and NGC~7662). We compare these new results with other recent studies of the nebulae, and discuss the relative merits of deriving the total elemental abundances of C, N, and O using ionization correction factors (ICFs) versus summed abundances. For the seven PNe with the best UV line detections, we conclude that summed abundances from direct diagnostics of ions with measurable UV lines gives the most accurate values for the total elemental abundances of C and N. In some cases where significant discrepancies exist between our abundances and those from other studies, we show that the differences can often be attributed to their use of fluxes that are not co-spatial. Finally, we examined C/O and N/O versus O/H and He/H in well-observed Galactic, LMC, and SMC PNe, and found that highly accurate abundances are essential for properly inferring elemental yields from their progenitor stars.

Sub-pixel resolution with color X-ray camera SLcam(R) [Cross-Listing]

The color X-ray camera SLcam(R) is a full-field, single photon detector providing scanning free, energy and spatially resolved X-ray imaging. Spatial resolution is achieved with the use of polycapillary optics guiding X-ray photons from small regions on a sample to distinct energy dispersive pixels on a CCD. Applying sub-pixel resolution, signals from individual capillary channels can be distinguished. Accordingly the SLcam(R) spatial resolution can be released from pixel size being confined rather to a diameter of individual polycapillary channels. In this work a new approach to sub-pixel resolution algorithm comprising photon events also from the pixel centers is proposed. The details of the employed numerical method and several sub-pixel resolution examples are presented and discussed.

Peculiar Near-Nucleus Outgassing of Comet 17P/Holmes During Its 2007 Outburst

We present high angular resolution Submillimeter Array observations ofthe outbursting Jupiter family comet 17P/Holmes on 2007 October 26-29, achieving a spatial resolution of 2.5", or ~3000 km at the comet distance. The observations resulted in detections of the rotational lines CO 3-2, HCN 4-3, H$^{13}$CN 4-3, CS 7-6, H$_2$CO 3$_{1,2}$-2$_{1,1}$, H$_2$S 2$_{2,0}$-2$_{1,1}$, and multiple CH$_3$OH lines, along with the associated dust continuum at 221 and 349 GHz. The continuum has a spectral index of 2.7$\pm$0.3, slightly steeper than blackbody emission from large dust particles. From the imaging data, we identify two components in the molecular emission. One component is characterized by a relatively broad line width (~1 km s$^{-1}$ FWHM) exhibiting a symmetric outgassing pattern with respect to the nucleus position. The second component has a narrower line width (<0.5 km s$^{-1}$ FWHM) with the line center red-shifted by 0.1-0.2 km s$^{-1}$ (cometocentric frame), and shows a velocity shift across the nucleus position with the position angle gradually changing from 66 to 30 degrees within the four days of observations. We determine distinctly different CO/HCN ratios for each of the components. For the broad-line component we find CO/HCN <7, while in the narrow-line component, CO/HCN = 40$\pm$5. We hypothesize that the narrow-line component originates from the ice grain halo found in near-nucleus photometry, believed to be created by sublimating recently released ice grains around the nucleus during the outburst. In this interpretation, the high CO/HCN ratio of this component reflects the more pristine volatile composition of nucleus material released in the outburst.

Design and development of a freeform active mirror for an astronomy application

The advent of extremely large telescopes will bring unprecedented light-collecting power and spatial resolution, but it will also lead to a significant increase in the size and complexity of focal-plane instruments. The use of freeform mirrors could drastically reduce the number of components in optical systems. Currently, manufacturing issues limit the common use of freeform mirrors at short wavelengths. This article outlines the use of freeform mirrors in astronomical instruments with a description of two efficient freeform optical systems. A new manufacturing method is presented which seeks to overcome the manufacturing issues through hydroforming of thin polished substrates. A specific design of an active array is detailed, which will compensate for residual manufacturing errors, thermoelastic deformation, and gravity-induced errors during observations. The combined hydroformed mirror and the active array comprise the Freeform Active Mirror Experiment, which will produce an accurate, compact, and stable freeform optics dedicated to visible and near-infrared observations.

ALMA Observations of the Antennae Galaxies: I. A New Window on a Prototypical Merger

We present the highest spatial resolution (~0.5") CO (3-2) observations to date of the "overlap" region in the merging Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038/39), taken with the ALMA. We report on the discovery of a long (3 kpc), thin (aspect ratio 30/1), filament of CO gas which breaks up into roughly ten individual knots. Each individual knot has a low internal velocity dispersion (~10 km/s), and the dispersion of the ensemble of knots in the filament is also low (~10 km/s). At the other extreme, we find that the individual clouds in the Super Giant Molecular Cloud 2 region discussed by Wilson and collaborators have a large range of internal velocity dispersions (10 to 80 km/s), and a large dispersion amongst the ensemble (~80 km/s). We use a combination of optical and near-IR data from HST, radio continuum observations taken with the VLA, and CO data from ALMA to develop an evolutionary classification system which provides a framework for studying the sequence of star cluster formation and evolution, from diffuse SGMCs, to proto, embedded, emerging, young, and intermediate/old clusters. The relative timescales have been assessed by determining the fractional population of sources at each evolutionary stage. Using the evolutionary framework, we estimate the maximum age range of clusters in a single SGMC is ~10 Myr, which suggests that the molecular gas is removed over this timescale resulting in the cessation of star formation and the destruction of the GMC within a radius of about 200 pc. (abridged)

Enhancing spatial resolution of soft x-ray CCD detectors by single-photon centroid determination [Cross-Listing]

In Charge Coupled Device (CCD) detectors the electrons excited upon absorption of a single x-ray photon quickly diffuse and generate charge-spots often larger than pixel dimensions. In the soft x-ray range this phenomenon drastically limits the effective spatial resolution to approximately 25\mu m, irrespective of the pixel size. For very low fluence the charge-cloud centroid determination can be used, on each individual spot, to estimate the actual photon impact position with sub-pixel precision. The readout noise and speed, together with the charge and spatial undersampling, are the main factors limiting the accuracy of this procedure in commercial devices. We have developed and extensively tested an algorithm for efficient centroid reconstruction on images acquired by low noise detectors not designed for single photon counting. We have thus measured a position uncertainty of 6-7\mu m in CCDs with 13.5\mu m and 20.0\mu m pixel size, around 1 keV photon energy. We have analyzed the centroid calculation performances by modelling the spot generation process. We show how the resolution is affected by both random uncertainty, mainly ascribed to the readout noise, and systematic error, due to the undersampling of the charge spot. This study was motivated by the growing need of of high-resolution high-sensitivity 2D position sensitive detectors in resonant inelastic (soft) x-ray scattering (RIXS), an emergent synchrotron radiation based spectroscopy.

The 2014 March 29 X-flare: sub-arcsecond resolution observations of Fe XXI 1354.1 [Replacement]

The Interface Region Imaging Spectrometer (IRIS) is the first solar instrument to observe $\sim 10$ MK plasma at subarcsecond spatial resolution through imaging spectroscopy of the Fe XXI $\lambda$1354.1 forbidden line. IRIS observations of the X1 class flare that occurred on 2014 March 29 at 17:48 UT reveal Fe XXI emission from both the flare ribbons and the post-flare loop arcade. Fe XXI appears at all of the chromospheric ribbon sites, although typically with a delay of one raster (75 seconds) and sometimes offset by up to 1$^{\prime\prime}$. 100–200 km s$^{-1}$ blue-shifts are found at the brightest ribbons, suggesting hot plasma upflow into the corona. The Fe XXI ribbon emission is compact with a spatial extent of $< 2^{\prime\prime}$, and can extend beyond the chromospheric ribbon locations. Examples are found of both decreasing and increasing blue-shift in the direction away from the ribbon locations, and blue-shifts were present for at least 6 minutes after the flare peak. The post-flare loop arcade, seen in Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) 131 \AA\ filtergram images that are dominated by Fe XXI, exhibited bright loop-tops with an asymmetric intensity distribution. The sizes of the loop-tops are resolved by IRIS at $\ge 1^{\prime\prime}$, and line widths in the loop-tops are not broader than in the loop-legs suggesting the loop-tops are not sites of enhanced turbulence. Line-of-sight speeds in the loop arcade are typically $<10$ km s$^{-1}$, and mean non-thermal motions fall from 43 km s$^{-1}$ at the flare peak to 26 km s$^{-1}$ six minutes later. If the average velocity in the loop arcade is assumed to be at rest, then it implies a new reference wavelength for the Fe XXI line of $1354.106\pm 0.023$ \AA.

The 2014 March 29 X-flare: sub-arcsecond resolution observations of Fe XXI 1354.1

The Interface Region Imaging Spectrometer (IRIS) is the first solar instrument to observe ~10 MK plasma at subarcsecond spatial resolution through imaging spectroscopy of the Fe XXI 1354.1 forbidden line. IRIS observations of the X1 class flare that occurred on 2014 March 29 at 17:48 UT reveal Fe XXI emission from both the flare ribbons and the post-flare loop arcade. Fe XXI appears at the ribbon locations around 75 seconds after the ribbons appear in the chromospheric continuum, and 1354.1 shows blue-shifts of 100-200 km/s, suggesting hot plasma upflow into the corona. The Fe XXI ribbon emission is compact with a spatial extent of <2", and can extend beyond the chromospheric ribbon locations. Examples are found of both decreasing and increasing blue-shift in the direction away from the ribbon locations, and blue-shifts were present for at least 6 minutes after the flare peak. The post-flare loop arcade, seen in Atmospheric Imaging Assembly (AIA) 131 A filtergram images that are dominated by Fe XXI, exhibited bright loop-tops with an asymmetric intensity distribution. The sizes of the loop-tops are resolved by IRIS at > 1", and line widths in the loop-tops are not broader than in the loop-legs suggesting the loop-tops are not sites of enhanced turbulence. Line-of-sight speeds in the loop arcade are typically <10 km/s, and mean non-thermal motions fall from 43 km/s at the flare peak to 26 km/s six minutes later. If the average velocity in the loop arcade is assumed to be at rest, then it implies a new reference wavelength for the Fe XXI line of 1354.106 +/- 0.023 A.

Galaxy Mass Assembly with VLT & HST and lessons for E-ELT/MOSAIC

The fraction of distant disks and mergers is still debated, while 3D-spectroscopy is revolutionizing the field. However its limited spatial resolution imposes a complimentary HST imagery and a robust analysis procedure. When applied to observations of IMAGES galaxies at z=0.4-0.8, it reveals that half of the spiral progenitors were in a merger phase, 6 billion year ago. The excellent correspondence between methodologically-based classifications of morphologies and kinematics definitively probes a violent origin of disk galaxies as proposed by Hammer et al. (2005). Examination of nearby galaxy outskirts reveals fossil imprints of such ancient merger events, under the form of well organized stellar streams. Perhaps our neighbor, M31, is the best illustration of an ancient merger, which modeling in 2010 leads to predict the gigantic plane of satellites discovered by Ibata et al. (2013). There are still a lot of discoveries to be done until the ELT era, which will open an avenue for detailed and accurate 3D-spectroscopy of galaxies from the earliest epochs to the present.

The Star Formation Relation for Regions in the Galactic Plane: The Effect of Spatial Resolution

We examined the relations between molecular gas surface density and star formation rate surface density in a 11 square degree region of the Galactic Plane. Dust continuum at 1.1 mm from the Bolocam Galactic Plane Survey and 22 micron emission from the WISE All-sky survey were used as tracers of molecular gas and star formation rate, respectively, across Galactic longitude of 31.5 > l > 20.5 and Galactic latitude of 0.5 > b > -0.5. The relation was studied over a range of resolutions from 33 arcsecond to 20 arcminute by convolving images to larger scales. The pixel-by-pixel correlation between 1.1 mm and 22 micron increases rapidly at small scales and levels off at the scale of 5 – 8 arcminute. We studied the star formation relation based on pixel-by-pixel analysis and 1.1 mm and 22 micron peaks analysis. The star formation relation was found to be nearly linear with no significant changes in the form of the relation across all spatial scales and lie above the extragalactic relation from Kennicutt (1998). The average gas depletion time is approximately 200 Myr and does not change significantly at different scales, but the scatter in the depletion time decreases as the scale increases.

Pair separation of magnetic elements in the quiet Sun

The dynamic properties of the quiet Sun photosphere can be investigated by analyzing the pair dispersion of small-scale magnetic fields (i.e., magnetic elements). By using $25$ hr-long Hinode magnetograms at high spatial resolution ($0".3$), we tracked $68,490$ magnetic element pairs within a supergranular cell near the disk center. The computed pair separation spectrum, calculated on the whole set of particle pairs independently of their initial separation, points out what is known as a super-diffusive regime with spectral index $\gamma=1.55\pm0.05$, in agreement with the most recent literature, but extended to unprecedented spatial and temporal scales (from granular to supergranular). Furthermore, for the first time, we investigated here the spectrum of the mean square displacement of pairs of magnetic elements, depending on their initial separation $r_0$. We found that there is a typical initial distance above (below) which the pair separation is faster (slower) than the average. A possible physical interpretation of such a typical spatial scale is also provided.

Pair separation of magnetic elements in the quiet Sun [Replacement]

The dynamic properties of the quiet Sun photosphere can be investigated by analyzing the pair dispersion of small-scale magnetic fields (i.e., magnetic elements). By using $25$ hr-long Hinode magnetograms at high spatial resolution ($0".3$), we tracked $68,490$ magnetic element pairs within a supergranular cell near the disk center. The computed pair separation spectrum, calculated on the whole set of particle pairs independently of their initial separation, points out what is known as a super-diffusive regime with spectral index $\gamma=1.55\pm0.05$, in agreement with the most recent literature, but extended to unprecedented spatial and temporal scales (from granular to supergranular). Furthermore, for the first time, we investigated here the spectrum of the mean square displacement of pairs of magnetic elements, depending on their initial separation $r_0$. We found that there is a typical initial distance above (below) which the pair separation is faster (slower) than the average. A possible physical interpretation of such a typical spatial scale is also provided.

Numerical Tests of Rotational Mixing in Massive Stars with the new Population Synthesis Code BONNFIRES

We use our new population synthesis code BONNFIRES to test how surface abundances predicted by rotating stellar models depend on the numerical treatment of rotational mixing, such as spatial resolution, temporal resolution and computation of mean molecular weight gradients. We find that even with identical numerical prescriptions for calculating the rotational mixing coefficients in the diffusion equation, different timesteps lead to a deviation of the coefficients and hence surface abundances. We find the surface abundances vary by 10-100% between the model sequences with short timestep of 0.001Myr to model sequences with longer timesteps. Model sequences with stronger surface nitrogen enrichment also have longer main-sequence lifetimes because more hydrogen is mixed to the burning cores. The deviations in main-sequence lifetimes can be as large as 20%. Mathematically speaking, no numerical scheme can give a perfect solution unless infinitesimally small timesteps are used. However, we find that the surface abundances eventually converge within 10% between modelling sequences with sufficiently small timesteps below 0.1Myr. The efficiency of rotational mixing depends on the implemented numerical scheme and critically on the computation of the mean molecular weight gradient. A smoothing function for the mean molecular weight gradient results in stronger rotational mixing. If the discretization scheme or the computational recipe for calculating the mean molecular weight gradient is altered, re-calibration of mixing parameters may be required to fit observations. If we are to properly understand the fundamental physics of rotation in stars, it is crucial that we minimize the uncertainty introduced into stellar evolution models when numerically approximating rotational mixing processes.

Metallicity Measurements of Gamma-Ray Burst and Supernova Explosion Sites: Lessons from HII regions in M31

We examine how the small-scale ($<$ kpc) variation of metallicity within a galaxy, which is found in nearby galaxies, affect the observational estimates of metallicities in the explosion sites of transient events such as supernovae (SNe) and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Assuming the same luminosity, metallicity, and spatial distributions of \HII\ regions (hereafter HIIR) as observed in M31, we compute the apparent metallicities that we would obtain when the spectrum of a target region is blended with those of surrounding HIIR within the length scale of typical spatial resolution. When the spatial resolution of spectroscopy is $\lesssim$ 1 kpc, which is typical for the existing studies of SN sites, we find that the apparent metallicities reflect the metallicities of target regions, but with significant systematic uncertainties in some cases. When the spatial resolution is $\gtrsim$ a few kpc, regardless of the target regions (which has a wide range of 12+log(O/H) = 8.1–9.3 for the M31 HIIR), we always obtain an apparent metallicity of 12+log(O/H)$\sim$8.8, which is the average metallicity of HIIR in M31. Given that the apparent metallicities measured with $\gtrsim$ kpc scale resolutions do not necessarily reflect the immediate environment of stellar explosions, current observational estimates of high-metallicity for some long-GRB host galaxies do {\em not} rule out the hypothesis that long-GRBs are exclusively born in low-metallicity environment.

Metallicity Measurements of Gamma-Ray Burst and Supernova Explosion Sites: Lessons from HII regions in M31 [Replacement]

We examine how the small-scale ($<$\,kpc) variation of metallicity within a galaxy, which is found in nearby galaxies, affect the observational estimates of metallicity in the explosion sites of transient events such as core-collapse supernovae (CC SNe) and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). Assuming the same luminosity, metallicity, and spatial distributions of \ion{H}{ii}\ regions (hereafter HIIRs) as observed in M31, we compute the apparent metallicities that we would obtain when the spectrum of a target region is blended with those of surrounding HIIRs within the length scale of typical spatial resolution. When the spatial resolution of spectroscopy is $\lesssim$ 0.5\,kpc, which is typical for the existing studies of CC SN sites, we find that the apparent metallicities reflect the metallicities of target regions, but with significant systematic uncertainties in some cases. When the spatial resolution is $\gtrsim$ 1.0 kpc, regardless of the target regions (which has a wide range of metallicity that spans $\sim$ 0.6 dex for the M31 HIIRs), we always obtain the apparent metallicities similar to the average metallicity of the M31 HIIRs. Given that the apparent metallicities measured with $\gtrsim$\,kpc scale resolution do not necessarily reflect the immediate environment of the stellar explosions, the current observational estimates of high metallicities for some of the long GRB host galaxies do {\em not} rule out the hypothesis that the long GRBs are exclusively born in a low-metallicity environment.

Interferometry from Space: A Great Dream

During some thirty years, 1980-2010, technical studies of optical interferometry from instruments in space were pursued as promising for higher spatial resolution and for higher astrometric accuracy. Nulling interferometry was studied for both high spatial resolution and high contrast. These studies were great dreams deserving further historical attention. ESA’s interest in interferometry began in the early 1980s. The studies of optical interferometry for the global astrometry mission GAIA began in 1993 and ended in 1998 when interferometry was dropped as unsuited for the purpose, and the Gaia mission to be launched in 2013 is not based on interferometry. \c{opyright} Anita Publications. All rights reserved.

The effect of spatial resolution on optical and near-IR studies of stellar clusters: Implications for the origin of the red excess

Recent ground based near-IR studies of stellar clusters in nearby galaxies have suggested that young clusters remain embedded for 7-10Myr in their progenitor molecular cloud, in conflict with optical based studies which find that clusters are exposed after 1-3Myr. Here, we investigate the role that spatial resolution plays in this apparent conflict. We use a recent catalogue of young ($<10$~Myr) massive ($>5000$~\msun) clusters in the nearby spiral galaxy, M83, along with Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging in the optical and near-IR, and ground based near-IR imaging, to see how the colours (and hence estimated properties such as age and extinction) are affected by the aperture size employed, in order to simulate studies of differing resolution. We find that the near-IR is heavily affected by the resolution, and when aperture sizes $>40$~pc are used, all young/blue clusters move red-ward in colour space, which results in their appearance as heavily extincted clusters. However, this is due to contamination from nearby sources and nebular emission, and is not an extinction effect. Optical colours are much less affected by resolution. Due to the larger affect of contamination in the near-IR, we find that, in some cases, clusters will appear to show near-IR excess when large ($>20$~pc) apertures are used. Our results explain why few young ($<6$~Myr), low extinction ($\av < 1$~mag) clusters have been found in recent ground based near-IR studies of cluster populations, while many such clusters have been found in higher resolution HST based studies. Additionally, resolution effects appear to (at least partially) explain the origin of the near-IR excess that has been found in a number of extragalactic YMCs.

The FUV to Near-IR Morphologies of Luminous Infrared Galaxies in the GOALS Sample

We compare the morphologies of a sample of 20 LIRGs from the Great Observatories All-sky LIRG Survey (GOALS) in the FUV, B, I and H bands, using the Gini (G) and M20 parameters to quantitatively estimate the distribution and concentration of flux as a function of wavelength. HST images provide an average spatial resolution of ~80 pc. While our LIRGs can be reliably classified as mergers across the entire range of wavelengths studied here, there is a clear shift toward more negative M20 (more bulge-dominated) and a less significant decrease in G values at longer wavelengths. We find no correlation between the derived FUV G-M20 parameters and the global measures of the IR to FUV flux ratio, IRX. Given the fine resolution in our HST data, this suggests either that the UV morphology and IRX are correlated on very small scales, or that the regions emitting the bulk of the IR emission emit almost no FUV light. We use our multi-wavelength data to simulate how merging LIRGs would appear from z~0.5-3 in deep optical and near-infrared images such as the HUDF, and use these simulations to measure the G-M20 at these redshifts. Our simulations indicate a noticeable decrease in G, which flattens at z >= 2 by as much as 40%, resulting in mis-classifying our LIRGs as disk-like, even in the rest-frame FUV. The higher redshift values of M20 for the GOALS sources do not appear to change more than about 10% from the values at z~0. The change in G-M20 is caused by the surface brightness dimming of extended tidal features and asymmetries, and also the decreased spatial resolution which reduced the number of individual clumps identified. This effect, seen as early as z~0.5, could easily lead to an underestimate of the number of merging galaxies at high-redshift in the rest-frame FUV.

A Flare Observed in Coronal, Transition Region and Helium I 10830 \AA\ Emissions

On June 17, 2012, we observed the evolution of a C-class flare associated with the eruption of a filament near a large sunspot in the active region NOAA 11504. We obtained high spatial resolution filtergrams using the 1.6 m New Solar Telescope at the Big Bear Solar Observatory in broad-band TiO at 706 nm (bandpass:10 \AA) and He I 10830 \AA\ narrow-band (bandpass: 0.5 \AA, centered 0.25 \AA\ to the blue). We analyze the spatio-temporal behavior of the He I 10830 \AA\ data, which were obtained over a 90" X 90" field of view with a cadence of 10 sec. We also analyze simultaneous data from the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly and Extreme Ultraviolet Variability Experiment instruments on board the Solar Dynamics Observatory spacecraft, and data from Reuven Ramaty High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager and GOES spacecrafts. Non-thermal effects are ignored in this analysis. Several quantitative aspects of the data, as well as models derived using the "0D" Enthalpy-Based Thermal Evolution of Loops model (EBTEL: Klimchuk et al. 2008) code, indicate that the triplet states of the 10830 \AA\ multiplet are populated by photoionization of chromospheric plasma followed by radiative recombination. Surprisingly, the He II 304 \AA\ line is reasonably well matched by standard emission measure calculations, along with the C IV emission which dominates the AIA 1600 \AA\ channel during flares. This work lends support to some of our previous work combining X-ray, EUV and UV data of flares to build models of energy transport from corona to chromosphere.

A study of dynamical processes in the Orion KL region using ALMA-- Probing molecular outflow and inflow

This work reports a high spatial resolution observations toward Orion KL region with high critical density lines of CH$_{3}$CN (12$_{4}$-11$_{4}$) and CH$_{3}$OH (8$_{-1, 8}$-7$_{0, 7}$) as well as continuum at $\sim$1.3 mm band. The observations were made using the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array with a spatial resolution of $\sim$1.5$^{\prime\prime}$ and sensitives about 0.07 K and $\sim$0.18 K for continuum and line, respectively. The observational results showed that the gas in the Orion KL region consists of jet-propelled cores at the ridge and dense cores at east and south of the region, shaped like a wedge ring. The outflow has multiple lobes, which may originate from an explosive ejection and is not driven by young stellar objects. Four infrared bubbles were found in the Spitzer/IRAC emissions. These bubbles, the distributions of the previously found H$_2$ jets, the young stellar objects and molecular gas suggested that BN is the explosive center. The burst time was estimated to be $\leq$ 1300 years. In the mean time, signatures of gravitational collapse toward Source I and hot core were detected with material infall velocities of 1.5 km~s$^{-1}$ and $\sim$ 0.6 km~s$^{-1}$, corresponding to mass accretion rates of 1.2$\times$10$^{-3}$M$_{\sun}$/Yr and 8.0$\times$10$^{-5}$M$_{\sun}$/Yr, respectively. These observations may support that high-mass stars form via accretion model, like their low-mass counterparts.

Clumping factors of HII, HeII and HeIII

Estimating the intergalactic medium ionization level of a region needs proper treatment of the reionization process for a large representative volume of the universe. The clumping factor, a parameter which accounts for the effect of recombinations in unresolved, small-scale structures, aids in achieving the required accuracy for the reionization history even in simulations with low spatial resolution. In this paper, we study for the first time the redshift evolution of clumping factors of different ionized species of H and He in a small but very high resolution simulation of the reionization process. We investigate the dependence of the value and redshift evolution of clumping factors on their definition, the ionization level of the gas, the grid resolution, box size and mean dimensionless density of the simulations.

Near- to Mid- Infrared Imaging and Spectroscopy of Two Buried AGNs of the Nearby Merging Galaxy NGC 6240 with Subaru/IRCS+AO and GTC/CanariCam

We report near-infrared K’, L’, and M’ band imaging observations of the nearby merging galaxy NGC 6240 with the Infrared Camera and Spectrograph on the Subaru telescope. The observations were performed with the assistance of the Subaru Adaptive Optics System, and the achieved spatial resolutions were around 0.10–0.20$^{\prime\prime}$. We also obtained new mid-infrared imaging in the Si-2 filter band (8.7$\mu$m) and N-band (7.5–13$\mu$m) spectroscopy of this galaxy with the CanariCam on the Gran Telescopio Canarias with a spatial resolution of 0.4–0.5$^{\prime\prime}$. In the K’ band image the two nuclei of the galaxy each show a double-peak suggesting the complex geometry of the source, while the L’, M’, and Si-2 band images show single compact structures in each of the two nuclei. Assuming that the center core observed at wavelengths longer than 3.8$\mu$m is associated with dust heated by the buried AGN, we re-evaluated the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the southern nucleus from 2 to 30$\mu$m with the additional literature values, and performed the SED+spectroscopy fitting using the clumpy torus models of Nenkova et al. (2008) and a Bayesian fitting approach. The model fit suggests that the high covering factor torus emission in the southern nucleus is also obscured by foreground dust in the host galaxy. The estimated AGN bolometric luminosity of the southern nucleus, $L_{\rm bol}({\rm AGN})\sim1\times10^{45}$ [erg$\cdot$s$^{-1}$], accounts for approximately 40% of the whole luminosity of the system.

 

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