Posts Tagged spatial resolution

Recent Postings from spatial resolution

Mass Losing Asymptotic Giant Branch Stars and Supergiants

This paper presents a summary of four invited and twelve contributed presentations on asymptotic giant branch stars and red supergiants, given over the course of two afternoon splinter sessions at the 19th Cool Stars Workshop. It highlights both recent observations and recent theory, with some emphasis on high spatial resolution, over a wide range of wavelengths. Topics covered include 3D models, convection, binary interactions, mass loss, dust formation and magnetic fields.

ALMA high spatial resolution observations of the dense molecular region of NGC 6302

The mechanism behind the shaping of bipolar planetary nebulae is still poorly understood. Accurately tracing the molecule-rich equatorial regions of post-AGB stars can give valuable insight into the ejection mechanisms at work. We investigate the physical conditions, structure and velocity field of the dense molecular region of the planetary nebula NGC 6302 by means of ALMA band 7 interferometric maps. The high spatial resolution of the $^{12}$CO and $^{13}$CO J=3-2 ALMA data allows for an analysis of the geometry of the ejecta in unprecedented detail. We built a spatio-kinematical model of the molecular region with the software SHAPE and performed detailed non-LTE calculations of excitation and radiative transfer with the SHAPEMOL plug-in. We find that the molecular region consists of a massive ring out of which a system of fragments of lobe walls emerge and enclose the base of the lobes visible in the optical. The general properties of this region are in agreement with previous works, although the much greater spatial resolution of the data allows for a very detailed description. We confirm that the mass of the molecular region is 0.1 M$_{\odot}$. Additionally, we report a previously undetected component at the nebular equator, an inner, younger ring inclined $\sim$60$^\circ$ with respect to the main ring, showing a characteristic radius of 7.5$\times$10$^{16}$ cm, a mass of 2.7$\times$10$^{-3}$ M$_{\odot}$, and a counterpart in optical images of the nebula. This inner ring has the same kinematical age as the northwest optical lobes, implying it was ejected approximately at the same time, hundreds of years after the ejection of the bulk of the molecular ring-like region. We discuss a sequence of events leading to the formation of the molecular and optical nebulae, and briefly speculate on the origin of this intriguing inner ring.

The AARTFAAC All Sky Monitor: System Design and Implementation

The Amsterdam-ASTRON Radio Transients Facility And Analysis Center (AARTFAAC) all sky monitor is a sensitive, real time transient detector based on the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR). It generates images of the low frequency radio sky with spatial resolution of 10s of arcmin, MHz bandwidths, and a time cadence of a few seconds, while simultaneously but independently observing with LOFAR. The image timeseries is then monitored for short and bright radio transients. On detection of a transient, a low latency trigger will be generated for LOFAR, which can interrupt its schedule to carry out follow-up observations of the trigger location at high sensitivity and resolutions. In this paper, we describe our heterogeneous, hierarchical design to manage the 240 Gbps raw data rate, and large scale computing to produce real-time images with minimum latency. We discuss the implementation of the instrumentation, its performance, and scalability.

A high-resolution CMOS imaging detector for the search of neutrinoless double beta decay in $^{82}$Se [Cross-Listing]

We introduce a new technology of detectors for the search of the neutrinoless double beta decay of $^{82}$Se. Based on the present literature, imaging devices from amorphous $^{82}$Se evaporated on a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel array are expected to have the energy and spatial resolution to produce two-dimensional images of ionizing tracks of utmost quality, effectively akin to an electronic bubble chamber in the double beta decay energy regime. Still to be experimentally demonstrated, a detector consisting of a large array of these devices could have very low backgrounds, possibly reaching $10^{-7}$/(kg y) in the neutrinoless decay region of interest (ROI), as it may be required for the full exploration of the neutrinoless double beta decay parameter space in the most unfavorable condition of a strongly quenched nucleon axial coupling constant.

A high-resolution CMOS imaging detector for the search of neutrinoless double beta decay in $^{82}$Se [Cross-Listing]

We introduce a new technology of detectors for the search of the neutrinoless double beta decay of $^{82}$Se. Based on the present literature, imaging devices from amorphous $^{82}$Se evaporated on a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel array are expected to have the energy and spatial resolution to produce two-dimensional images of ionizing tracks of utmost quality, effectively akin to an electronic bubble chamber in the double beta decay energy regime. Still to be experimentally demonstrated, a detector consisting of a large array of these devices could have very low backgrounds, possibly reaching $10^{-7}$/(kg y) in the neutrinoless decay region of interest (ROI), as it may be required for the full exploration of the neutrinoless double beta decay parameter space in the most unfavorable condition of a strongly quenched nucleon axial coupling constant.

A high-resolution CMOS imaging detector for the search of neutrinoless double beta decay in $^{82}$Se [Cross-Listing]

We introduce a new technology of detectors for the search of the neutrinoless double beta decay of $^{82}$Se. Based on the present literature, imaging devices from amorphous $^{82}$Se evaporated on a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel array are expected to have the energy and spatial resolution to produce two-dimensional images of ionizing tracks of utmost quality, effectively akin to an electronic bubble chamber in the double beta decay energy regime. Still to be experimentally demonstrated, a detector consisting of a large array of these devices could have very low backgrounds, possibly reaching $10^{-7}$/(kg y) in the neutrinoless decay region of interest (ROI), as it may be required for the full exploration of the neutrinoless double beta decay parameter space in the most unfavorable condition of a strongly quenched nucleon axial coupling constant.

Competition between shock and turbulent heating in coronal loop system

2.5-dimensional magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) simulations are performed with high spatial resolution in order to distinguish between competing models of the coronal heating problem. A single coronal loop powered by Alfv\'{e}n waves excited in the photosphere is the target of the present study. The coronal structure is reproduced in our simulations as a natural consequence of the transportation and dissipation of Alfv\'{e}n waves. Further, the coronal structure is maintained as the spatial resolution is changed from 25 to 3 km, although the temperature at the loop top increases with the spatial resolution. The heating mechanisms change gradually across the magnetic canopy at a height of 4 Mm. Below the magnetic canopy, both the shock and the MHD turbulence are dominant heating processes. Above the magnetic canopy, the shock heating rate reduces to less than 10 % of the total heating rate while the MHD turbulence provides significant energy to balance the radiative cooling and thermal conduction loss or gain. The importance of compressibility shown in the present study would significantly impact on the prospects of successful MHD turbulence theory in the solar chromosphere.

The Little Galaxies that Could (Reionize the Universe): Predicting Faint End Slopes & Escape Fractions at z > 4

The sources that reionized the universe are still unknown, but likely candidates are faint but numerous galaxies. In this paper we present results from running a high resolution, uniform volume simulation, the Vulcan, to predict the number densities of undetectable, faint galaxies and their escape fractions of ionizing radiation, $f_\mathrm{esc}$, during reionization. Our approach combines a high spatial resolution, a realistic treatment of feedback and hydro processes, a strict threshold for minimum number of resolution elements per galaxy, and a converged measurement of $f_\mathrm{esc}$. We calibrate our physical model using a novel approach to create realistic galaxies at z=0, so the simulation is predictive at high redshifts. With this approach we can (1) robustly predict the evolution of the galaxy UV luminosity function at faint magnitudes down to $M_\mathrm{UV}$~-15, two magnitudes fainter than observations, and (2) estimate $f_\mathrm{esc}$ over a large range of galaxy masses based on the detailed stellar and gas distributions in resolved galaxies. We find steep faint end slopes, implying high number densities of faint galaxies, and the dependence of $f_\mathrm{esc}$ on the UV magnitude of a galaxy, given by the power-law: log $f_\mathrm{esc} = (0.51 \pm 0.04)M_\mathrm{UV} + 7.3 \pm 0.8$, with the faint population having $f_\mathrm{esc}$~35%. Convolving the UV luminosity function with $f_\mathrm{esc}$($M_\mathrm{UV}$), we find an ionizing emissivity that is (1) dominated by the faintest galaxies and (2) reionizes the universe at the appropriate rate, consistent with observational constraints of the ionizing emissivity and the optical depth to the decoupling surface tau_es, without the need for additional sources of ionizing radiation.

High spatial resolution FeXII observations of solar active region

We use UV spectral observations of active regions with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) to investigate the properties of the coronal FeXII 1349.4A emission at unprecedented high spatial resolution (~0.33"). We find that by using appropriate observational strategies (i.e., long exposures, lossless compression), FeXII emission can be studied with IRIS at high spatial and spectral resolution, at least for high density plasma (e.g., post-flare loops, and active region moss). We find that upper transition region (moss) FeXII emission shows very small average Doppler redshifts (v_Dop ~3 km/s), as well as modest non-thermal velocities (with an average ~24 km/s, and the peak of the distribution at ~15 km/s). The observed distribution of Doppler shifts appears to be compatible with advanced 3D radiative MHD simulations in which impulsive heating is concentrated at the transition region footpoints of a hot corona. While the non-thermal broadening of FeXII 1349.4A peaks at similar values as lower resolution simultaneous Hinode/EIS measurements of FeXII 195A, IRIS observations show a previously undetected tail of increased non-thermal broadening that might be suggestive of the presence of subarcsecond heating events. We find that IRIS and EIS non-thermal line broadening measurements are affected by instrumental effects that can only be removed through careful analysis. Our results also reveal an unexplained discrepancy between observed 195.1/1349.4A FeXII intensity ratios and those predicted by the CHIANTI atomic database.

Monte Carlo simulation of a very high resolution thermal neutron detector composed of glass scintillator microfibers [Cross-Listing]

In order to develop a high spatial resolution (micron level) thermal neutron detector, a detector assembly composed of cerium doped lithium glass microfibers, each with a diameter of 1\,$\mu$m, is proposed, where the neutron absorption location is reconstructed from the observed charged particle products that result from neutron absorption. To suppress the cross talk of the scintillation light, each scintillating fiber is surrounded by air-filled glass capillaries with the same diameter as the fiber. This pattern is repeated to form a bulk microfiber detector. On one end, the surface of the detector is painted with a thin optical reflector to increase the light collection efficiency at the other end. Then the scintillation light emitted by any neutron interaction is transmitted to one end, magnified, and recorded by an intensified CCD camera. A simulation based on the Geant4 toolkit was developed to model this detector. All the relevant physics processes including neutron interaction, scintillation, and optical boundary behaviors are si\-mulated. This simulation was first validated through measurements of neutron response from lithium glass cylinders. With good expected light collection, an algorithm based upon the features inherent to alpha and triton particle tracks is proposed to reconstruct the neutron reaction position in the glass fiber array. Given a 1\,$\mu$m fiber diameter and 0.1\,mm detector thickness, the neutron spatial resolution is expected to reach $\sigma\sim 1\, \mu$m with a Gaussian fit in each lateral dimension. The detection efficiency was estimated to be 3.7\% for a glass fiber assembly with thickness of 0.1\,mm. When the detector thickness increases from 0.1\,mm to 1\,mm, the position resolution is not expected to vary much, while the detection efficiency is expected to increase by about a factor of ten.

Single-hit resolution measurement with MEG II drift chamber prototypes [Cross-Listing]

Drift chambers operated with helium-based gas mixtures represent a common solution for tracking charged particles keeping the material budget in the sensitive volume to a minimum. The drawback of this solution is the worsening of the spatial resolution due to primary ionisation fluctuations, which is a limiting factor for high granularity drift chambers like the MEG II tracker. We report on the measurements performed on three different prototypes of the MEG II drift chamber aimed at determining the achievable single-hit resolution. The prototypes were operated with helium/isobutane gas mixtures and exposed to cosmic rays, electron beams and radioactive sources. Direct measurements of the single hit resolution performed with an external tracker returned a value of 110 $\mu$m, consistent with the values obtained with indirect measurements performed with the other prototypes.

Supernova Driving. III. Synthetic Molecular Cloud Observations

We present a comparison of molecular clouds (MCs) from a simulation of supernova-driven interstellar medium (ISM) turbulence with real MCs from the Outer Galaxy Survey. The radiative transfer calculations to compute synthetic CO spectra are carried out assuming the CO relative abundance depends only on gas density, according to four different models. Synthetic MCs are selected above a threshold brightness temperature value, $T_{\rm B,min}=1.4$ K, of the $J=1-0$ $^{12}$CO line, generating 16 synthetic catalogs (four different spatial resolutions and four CO abundance models), each containing up to several thousands MCs. The comparison with the observations focuses on the mass and size distributions and on the velocity-size and mass-size Larson relations. The mass and size distributions are found to be consistent with the observations, with no significant variations with spatial resolution or chemical model, except in the case of the unrealistic model with constant CO abundance. The velocity-size relation is slightly too steep for some of the models, while the mass-size relation is a bit too shallow for all models only at a spatial resolution $dx\approx 1$ pc. The normalizations of the Larson relations show a clear dependence on spatial resolution, for both the synthetic and the real MCs. The comparison of the velocity-size normalization suggests that the SN rate in the Perseus arm is approximately 70\% or less of the rate adopted in the simulation. Overall, the realistic properties of the synthetic clouds confirm that supernova-driven turbulence can explain the origin and dynamics of MCs.

ALMA-resolved salt emission traces the chemical footprint and inner wind morphology of VY CMa

(abreviated) We aim to study the inner-wind structure (R<250 Rstar) of the well-known red supergiant VY CMa. We analyse high spatial resolution (~0".24x0".13) ALMA Science Verification (SV) data in band 7 in which four thermal emission lines of gaseous sodium chloride (NaCl) are present at high signal-to-noise ratio. For the first time, the NaCl emission in the inner wind region of VY CMa is spatially resolved. The ALMA observations reveal the contribution of up to four different spatial regions. The NaCl emission pattern is different compared to the dust continuum and TiO2 emission already analysed from the ALMA SV data. The emission can be reconciled with an axisymmetric geometry, where the lower density polar/rotation axis has a position angle of ~50 degrees measured from north to east. However, this picture can not capture the full morphological diversity, and discrete mass ejection events need to be invoked to explain localized higher-density regions. The velocity traced by the gaseous NaCl line profiles is significantly lower than the average wind terminal velocity, and much slower than some of the fastest mass ejections, signalling a wide range of characteristic speeds for the mass loss. Gaseous NaCl is detected far beyond the main dust condensation region. Realising the refractory nature of this metal halide, this hints at a chemical process preventing all NaCl from condensing onto dust grains. We show that in the case of the ratio of the surface binding temperature to the grain temperature being ~50, only some 10% of NaCl remains in gaseous form, while for lower values of this ratio thermal desorption efficiently evaporates NaCl. Photodesorption by stellar photons seems not to be a viable explanation for the detection of gaseous NaCl at 220 Rstar from the central star, and instead, we propose shock-induced sputtering driven by localized mass ejection events as alternative.

Confronting Standard Models of Proto--Planetary Disks With New Mid--Infrared Sizes from the Keck Interferometer

We present near and mid-infrared interferometric observations made with the Keck Interferometer Nuller and near-contemporaneous spectro-photometry from the IRTF of 11 well known young stellar objects, several observed for the first time in these spectral and spatial resolution regimes. With AU-level spatial resolution, we first establish characteristic sizes of the infrared emission using a simple geometrical model consisting of a hot inner rim and mid-infrared disk emission. We find a high degree of correlation between the stellar luminosity and the mid-infrared disk sizes after using near-infrared data to remove the contribution from the inner rim. We then use a semi-analytical physical model to also find that the very widely used "star + inner dust rim + flared disk" class of models strongly fails to reproduce the SED and spatially-resolved mid-infrared data simultaneously; specifically a more compact source of mid-infrared emission is required than results from the standard flared disk model. We explore the viability of a modification to the model whereby a second dust rim containing smaller dust grains is added, and find that the two-rim model leads to significantly improved fits in most cases. This complexity is largely missed when carrying out SED modelling alone, although detailed silicate feature fitting by McClure et al. 2013 recently came to a similar conclusion. As has been suggested recently by Menu et al. 2015, the difficulty in predicting mid-infrared sizes from the SED alone might hint at "transition disk"-like gaps in the inner AU; however, the relatively high correlation found in our mid-infrared disk size vs. stellar luminosity relation favors layered disk morphologies and points to missing disk model ingredients instead.

Accuracy of the geometric-mean method for determining spatial resolutions of tracking detectors in the presence of multiple Coulomb scattering [Cross-Listing]

The geometric-mean method is often used to estimate the spatial resolution of a position-sensitive detector probed by tracks. It calculates the resolution solely from measured track data without using a detailed tracking simulation and without considering multiple Coulomb scattering effects. Two separate linear track fits are performed on the same data, one excluding and the other including the hit from the probed detector. The geometric mean of the widths of the corresponding exclusive and inclusive residual distributions for the probed detector is then taken as a measure of the intrinsic spatial resolution of the probed detector: $\sigma=\sqrt{\sigma_{ex}\cdot\sigma_{in}}$. The validity of this method is examined for a range of resolutions with a stand-alone Geant4 Monte Carlo simulation that specifically takes multiple Coulomb scattering in the tracking detector materials into account. Using simulated as well as actual tracking data from a representative beam test scenario, we find that the geometric-mean method gives systematically inaccurate spatial resolution results. Good resolutions are estimated as poor and vice versa. The more the resolutions of reference detectors and probed detector differ, the larger the systematic bias. An attempt to correct this inaccuracy by statistically subtracting multiple-scattering effects from geometric-mean results leads to resolutions that are typically too optimistic by 10-50\%. This supports an earlier critique of this method based on simulation studies that did not take multiple scattering into account.

Accuracy of the geometric-mean method for determining spatial resolutions of tracking detectors in the presence of multiple Coulomb scattering [Cross-Listing]

The geometric-mean method is often used to estimate the spatial resolution of a position-sensitive detector probed by tracks. It calculates the resolution solely from measured track data without using a detailed tracking simulation and without considering multiple Coulomb scattering effects. Two separate linear track fits are performed on the same data, one excluding and the other including the hit from the probed detector. The geometric mean of the widths of the corresponding exclusive and inclusive residual distributions for the probed detector is then taken as a measure of the intrinsic spatial resolution of the probed detector: $\sigma=\sqrt{\sigma_{ex}\cdot\sigma_{in}}$. The validity of this method is examined for a range of resolutions with a stand-alone Geant4 Monte Carlo simulation that specifically takes multiple Coulomb scattering in the tracking detector materials into account. Using simulated as well as actual tracking data from a representative beam test scenario, we find that the geometric-mean method gives systematically inaccurate spatial resolution results. Good resolutions are estimated as poor and vice versa. The more the resolutions of reference detectors and probed detector differ, the larger the systematic bias. An attempt to correct this inaccuracy by statistically subtracting multiple-scattering effects from geometric-mean results leads to resolutions that are typically too optimistic by 10-50\%. This supports an earlier critique of this method based on simulation studies that did not take multiple scattering into account.

Star-disc interaction in galactic nuclei: orbits and rates of accreted stars

We examine the effect of an accretion disc on the orbits of stars in the central star cluster surrounding a central massive black hole by performing a suite of 39 high-accuracy direct N-body simulations using state-of-the art software and accelerator hardware, with particle numbers up to 128k. The primary focus is on the accretion rate of stars by the black hole (equivalent to their tidal disruption rate for black holes in the small to medium mass range) and the eccentricity distribution of these stars. Our simulations vary not only the particle number, but disc model (two models examined), spatial resolution at the centre (characterised by the numerical accretion radius) and softening length. The large parameter range and physically realistic modelling allow us for the first time to confidently extrapolate these results to real galactic centres. While in a real galactic centre both particle number and accretion radius differ by a few orders of magnitude from our models, which are constrained by numerical capability, we find that the stellar accretion rate converges for models with N > 32k. The eccentricity distribution of accreted stars, however, does not converge. We find that there are two competing effects at work when improving the resolution: larger particle number leads to a smaller fraction of stars accreted on nearly-circular orbits, while higher spatial resolution increases this fraction. We scale our simulations to some nearby galaxies and find that the expected boost in stellar accretion (or tidal disruption, which could be observed as X-ray flares) in the presence of a gas disc is about a factor of 10. Even with this boost, the accretion of mass from stars is still a factor of ~ 100 slower than the accretion of gas from the disc. Thus, it seems accretion of stars is not a major contributor to black hole mass growth.

The Orion fingers: Near-IR spectral imaging of an explosive outflow

We present near-IR (1.1-2.4 micron) position-position-velocity cubes of the 500-year-old Orion BN/KL explosive outflow with spatial resolution 1" and spectral resolution 86 km/s. We construct integrated intensity maps free of continuum sources of 15 H2 and [Fe II] lines while preserving kinematic information of individual outflow features. Included in the detected H2 lines are the 1-0 S(1) and 1-0 Q(3) transitions, allowing extinction measurements across the outflow. Additionally, we present dereddened flux ratios for over two dozen outflow features to allow for the characterization of the true excitation conditions of the BN/KL outflow. All ratios show the dominance of shock excitation of the H2 emission, although some features exhibit signs of fluorescent excitation from stellar radiation or J-type shocks. We also detect tracers of the PDR/ionization front north of the Trapezium stars in [O I] and [Fe II] and analyze other observed outflows not associated with the BN/KL outflow.

High-resolution, high-sensitivity, ground-based solar spectropolarimetry with a new fast imaging polarimeter

Context. Remote sensing of weak and small-scale solar magnetic fields is of utmost relevance for a number of important open questions in solar physics. This requires the acquisition of spectropolarimetric data with high spatial resolution (0.1 arcsec) and low noise (1e-3 to 1e-5 of the continuum intensity). The main limitations to obtain these measurements from the ground, are the degradation of the image resolution produced by atmospheric seeing and the seeing-induced crosstalk (SIC). Aims. We introduce the prototype of the Fast Solar Polarimeter (FSP), a new ground-based, high-cadence polarimeter that tackles the above-mentioned limitations by producing data that are optimally suited for the application of post-facto image restoration, and by operating at a modulation frequency of 100 Hz to reduce SIC. Results. The pnCCD camera reaches 400 fps while keeping a high duty cycle (98.6 %) and very low noise (4.94 erms). The modulator is optimized to have high (> 80%) total polarimetric efficiency in the visible spectral range. This allows FSP to acquire 100 photon-noise-limited, full-Stokes measurements per second. We found that the seeing induced signals present in narrow-band, non-modulated, quiet-sun measurements are (a) lower than the noise (7e-5) after integrating 7.66 min, (b) lower than the noise (2.3e-4) after integrating 1.16 min and (c) slightly above the noise (4e-3) after restoring case (b) by means of a multi-object multi-frame blind deconvolution. In addition, we demonstrate that by using only narrow-band images (with low SNR of 13.9) of an active region, we can obtain one complete set of high-quality restored measurements about every 2 s.

Performance of the ATLAS Precision Muon Chambers under LHC Operating Conditions [Cross-Listing]

For the muon spectrometer of the ATLAS detector at the large hadron collider (LHC), large drift chambers consisting of 6 to 8 layers of pressurized drift tubes are used for precision tracking covering an active area of 5000 m2 in the toroidal ?eld of superconducting air core magnets. The chambers have to provide a spatial resolution of 41 microns with Ar:CO2 (93:7) gas mixture at an absolute pressure of 3 bar and gas gain of 2?104. The environment in which the chambers will be operated is characterized by high neutron and background with counting rates of up to 100 per square cm and second. The resolution and efficiency of a chamber from the serial production for ATLAS has been investigated in a 100 GeV muon beam at photon irradiation rates as expected during LHC operation. A silicon strip detector telescope was used as external reference in the beam. The spatial resolution of a chamber is degraded by 4 ?m at the highest background rate. The detection e?ciency of the drift tubes is unchanged under irradiation. A tracking e?ciency of 98% at the highest rates has been demonstrated.

First 3 mm-VLBI imaging of the two-sided jet in Cygnus A. Zooming into the launching region

We present for the first time Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry images of the radio galaxy Cygnus A at the frequency of $86$ $\rm GHz$. Thanks to the high spatial resolution of only ${\sim}200$ Schwarzschild radii ($R_{\bf S}$), such observations provide an extremely detailed view of the nuclear regions in this archetypal object and allow us to derive important constraints for theoretical models describing the launching of relativistic jets. A pixel-based analysis of the jet outflow, which still appears two-sided on the scales probed, was performed. By fitting Gaussian functions to the transverse intensity profiles, we could determine the jet width in the nuclear region. The base of the jets appears wide. The minimum measured transverse width of ${\sim} (227\pm98)$ $R_{\bf S}$ is significantly larger than the radius of the Innermost Stable Circular Orbit, suggesting that the outer accretion disk is contributing to the jet launching. The existence of a faster and Doppler de-boosted inner section, powered either from the rotation of the inner regions of the accretion disk or by the spinning black hole, is suggested by the kinematic properties and by the observed limb brightening of the flow.

A Brief Technical History of the Large-Area Picosecond Photodetector (LAPPD) Collaboration [Cross-Listing]

The Large Area Picosecond PhotoDetector (LAPPD) Collaboration was formed in 2009 to develop large-area photodetectors capable of time resolutions measured in pico-seconds, with accompanying sub-millimeter spatial resolution. During the next three and one-half years the Collaboration developed the LAPPD design of 20 x 20 cm modules with gains greater than $10^7$ and non-uniformity less than $15\%$, time resolution less than 50 psec for single photons and spatial resolution of 700~microns in both lateral dimensions. We describe the R\&D performed to develop large-area micro-channel plate glass substrates, resistive and secondary-emitting coatings, large-area bialkali photocathodes, and RF-capable hermetic packaging. In addition, the Collaboration developed the necessary electronics for large systems capable of precise timing, built up from a custom low-power 15-GigaSample/sec waveform sampling 6-channel integrated circuit and supported by a two-level modular data acquisition system based on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays for local control, data-sparcification, and triggering. We discuss the formation, organization, and technical successes and short-comings of the Collaboration. The Collaboration ended in December 2012 with a transition from R\&D to commercialization.

Flows in and around active region NOAA12118 observed with the GREGOR solar telescope and SDO/HMI

Accurate measurements of magnetic and velocity fields in and around solar active regions are key to unlocking the mysteries of the formation and the decay of sunspots. High spatial resolution image and spectral sequences with a high cadence obtained with the GREGOR solar telescope give us an opportunity to scrutinize 3-D flow fields with local correlation tracking and imaging spectroscopy. We present GREGOR early science data acquired in 2014 July - August with the GREGOR Fabry-P\'erot Interferometer and the Blue Imaging Channel. Time-series of blue continuum (? 450.6 nm) images of the small active region NOAA 12118 were restored with the speckle masking technique to derive horizontal proper motions and to track the evolution of morphological changes. In addition, high-resolution observations are discussed in the context of synoptic data from the Solar Dynamics Observatory.

Modeling the Lyman-alpha Forest in Collisionless Simulations

Cosmological hydrodynamic simulations can accurately predict the properties of the intergalactic medium (IGM), but only under the condition of retaining high spatial resolution necessary to resolve density fluctuations in the IGM. This resolution constraint prohibits simulating large volumes, such as those probed by BOSS and future surveys, like DESI and 4MOST. To overcome this limitation, we present Iteratively Matched Statistics (IMS), a novel method to accurately model the Lyman-alpha forest with collisionless N-body simulations, where the relevant density fluctuations are unresolved. We use a small-box, high-resolution hydrodynamic simulation to obtain the probability distribution function (PDF) and the power spectrum of the real-space Lyman-alpha forest flux. These two statistics are iteratively mapped onto a pseudo-flux field of an N-body simulation, which we construct from the matter density. We demonstrate that our method can perfectly reproduce line-of-sight observables, such as the PDF and power spectrum, and accurately reproduce the 3D flux power spectrum (5-20%). We quantify the performance of the commonly used Gaussian smoothing technique and show that it has significantly lower accuracy (20-80%), especially for N-body simulations with achievable mean inter-particle separations in large-volume simulations. In addition, we show that IMS produces reasonable and smooth spectra, making it a powerful tool for modeling the IGM in large cosmological volumes and for producing realistic "mock" skies for Lyman-alpha forest surveys.

MCP-based Photodetectors for Cryogenic Applications [Cross-Listing]

The Argonne MCP-based photo detector is an offshoot of the Large Area Pico-second Photo Detector (LAPPD) project, wherein 6 cm x 6 cm sized detectors are made at Argonne National Laboratory. We have successfully built and tested our first detectors for pico-second timing and few mm spatial resolution. We discuss our efforts to customize these detectors to operate in a cryogenic environment. Initial plans aim to operate in liquid argon. We are also exploring ways to mitigate wave length shifting requirements and also developing bare-MCP photodetectors to operate in a gaseous cryogenic environment.

Witnessing the birth of the red sequence: ALMA high-resolution imaging of [CII] and dust in two interacting ultra-red starbursts at z = 4.425

Exploiting the sensitivity and spatial resolution of the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), we have studied the morphology and the physical scale of the interstellar medium - both gas and dust - in SGP38326, an unlensed pair of interacting starbursts at $z= 4.425$. SGP38326 is the most luminous star bursting system known at $z > 4$ with an IR-derived ${\rm SFR \sim 4300 \,} M_\odot \, {\rm yr}^{-1}$. SGP38326 also contains a molecular gas reservoir among the most massive ever found in the early Universe, and it is the likely progenitor of a massive, red-and-dead elliptical galaxy at $z \sim 3$. Probing scales of $\sim 0.1"$ or $\sim 800 \, {\rm pc}$ we find that the smooth distribution of the continuum emission from cool dust grains contrasts with the more irregular morphology of the gas, as traced by the [CII] fine structure emission. The gas is also extended over larger physical scales than the dust. The velocity information provided by the resolved [CII] emission reveals that the dynamics of the two components of SGP38326 are compatible with disk-like, ordered rotation, but also reveals an ISM which is turbulent and unstable. Our observations support a scenario where at least a subset of the most distant extreme starbursts are highly dissipative mergers of gas-rich galaxies.

A rotating helical filament in the L1251 dark cloud

(Abridged) Aims. We derive the physical properties of a filament discovered in the dark cometary-shaped cloud L1251. Methods. Mapping observations in the NH3(1,1) and (2,2) inversion lines, encompassing 300 positions toward L1251, were performed with the Effelsberg 100-m telescope at a spatial resolution of 40 arcsec and a spectral resolution of 0.045 km/s. Results. The filament L1251A consists of three condensations (alpha, beta, and gamma) of elongated morphology, which are combined in a long and narrow structure covering a 38 arcmin by 3 arcmin angular range. The opposite chirality (dextral and sinistral) of the alpha+beta and gamma condensations indicates magnetic field helicities of two types, negative and positive, which were most probably caused by dynamo mechanisms. We estimated the magnetic Reynolds number Rm > 600 and the Rossby number R < 1, which means that dynamo action is important.

Simultaneous IRIS and Hinode/EIS observations and modelling of the 27 October 2014 X 2.0 class flare

We present the study of the X2-class flare which occurred on the 27 October 2014 and was observed with the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) and the EUV Imaging Spectrometer (EIS) on board the Hinode satellite. Thanks to the high cadence and spatial resolution of the IRIS and EIS instruments, we are able to compare simultaneous observations of the \xxi~1354.08~\AA~and \xxiii~263.77~\AA~high temperature emission ($\gtrsim$ 10~MK) in the flare ribbon during the chromospheric evaporation phase. We find that IRIS observes completely blue-shifted \xxi~line profiles, up to 200 km s$^{-1}$ during the rise phase of the flare, indicating that the site of the plasma upflows is resolved by IRIS. In contrast, the \xxiii~line is often asymmetric, which we interpret as being due to the lower spatial resolution of EIS. Temperature estimates from SDO/AIA and Hinode/XRT show that hot emission (log($T$)[K] $>$ 7.2) is first concentrated at the footpoints before filling the loops. Density sensitive lines from IRIS and EIS give electron number density estimates of $\gtrsim$~10$^{12}$~cm$^{-3}$ in the transition region lines and 10$^{10}$~cm$^{-3}$ in the coronal lines during the impulsive phase. In order to compare the observational results against theoretical predictions, we have run a simulation of a flare loop undergoing heating using the HYDRAD 1D hydro code. We find that the simulated plasma parameters are close to the observed values which are obtained with IRIS, Hinode and AIA. These results support an electron beam heating model rather than a purely thermal conduction model as the driving mechanism for this flare.

Direct Collapse to Supermassive Black Hole Seeds: Comparing the AMR and SPH Approaches

We provide detailed comparison between the AMR code Enzo-2.4 and the SPH code GADGET-3 in the context of direct baryonic collapse within DM halos to form supermassive black hole (SMBH) seeds, in isolated and cosmological frameworks, at z ~ 10-20. We find that both codes show an overall agreement in the general features of the collapse, however, many subtle differences exist. For isolated models, we find that the codes increase their spatial and mass resolutions at different pace, leading to substantially earlier collapse times in SPH due to higher gravitational resolution in GADGET-3. In fully cosmological runs, starting from z = 200, the AMR develops a slightly higher baryonic resolution than SPH during DM halo growth via cold accretion permeated by mergers. Still, both numerical schemes agree in the buildup of DM and baryonic structures. However, with the onset of direct collapse, this difference in mass and spatial resolution is amplified, so the evolution of SPH models begins to lag behind the AMR by ~10-20 Myr, especially in the central regions of halos. Such a delay can, in principle, have an effect on formation/destruction rate of molecular hydrogen in the presence of UV background, and on basic properties of host DM halos. Finally, the isolated models in spinning DM halos, with cosmological spin parameter lambda ~ 0.01 - 0.07, show delayed collapse times for greater lambda, but the pace of this increase is faster for the AMR. This conclusion does not stand for cosmological models. Within our simulation setup, GADGET-3 requires significantly larger computational resources than Enzo-2.4 during the collapse stage, cosmological or isolated, and needs similar resources, within factor ~2, during the pre-collapse, cosmological structure formation phase. Yet it benefits from substantially higher force and hydrodynamic resolution, except near the end of the collapse.

Direct Collapse to Supermassive Black Hole Seeds: Comparing the AMR and SPH Approaches [Replacement]

We provide detailed comparison between the AMR code Enzo-2.4 and the SPH/N- body code GADGET-3 in the context of isolated or cosmological direct baryonic collapse within dark matter (DM) halos to form supermassive black holes. Gas flow is examined by following evolution of basic parameters of accretion flows. Both codes show an overall agreement in the general features of the collapse, however, many subtle differences exist. For isolated models, the codes increase their spatial and mass resolutions at different pace, which leads to substantially earlier collapse in SPH than in AMR cases due to higher gravitational resolution in GADGET-3. In cosmological runs, the AMR develops a slightly higher baryonic resolution than SPH during halo growth via cold accretion permeated by mergers. Still, both codes agree in the buildup of DM and baryonic structures. However, with the onset of collapse, this difference in mass and spatial resolution is amplified, so evolution of SPH models begins to lag behind. Such a delay can have effect on formation/destruction rate of H2 due to UV background, and on basic properties of host halos. Finally, isolated non-cosmological models in spinning halos, with spin parameter {\lambda} ~ 0.01 - 0.07, show delayed collapse for greater {\lambda}, but pace of this increase is faster for AMR. Within our simulation setup, GADGET-3 requires significantly larger computational resources than Enzo- 2.4 during collapse, and needs similar resources, during the pre-collapse, cosmological structure formation phase. Yet it benefits from substantially higher gravitational force and hydrodynamic resolutions, except at the end of collapse.

Velocity resolved [CII] spectroscopy of the center and the BCLMP302 region of M33 (HerM33es)

We aim to understand the contribution of the ionized, atomic and molecular phases of the ISM to the [CII] emission from clouds near the dynamical center and the BCLMP302 HII region in the north of the nearby galaxy M33 at a spatial resolution of 50pc. We combine high resolution [CII] spectra taken with the HIFI spectrometer onboard the Herschel satellite with [CII] Herschel-PACS maps and ground-based observations of CO(2-1) and HI. All data are at a common spatial resolution of 50pc. Typically, the [CII] lines have widths intermediate between the narrower CO(2-1) and broader HI line profiles. We decomposed the [CII] spectra in terms of contribution from molecular and atomic gas detected in CO(2-1) and HI, respectively. We find that the relative contribution of molecular and atomic gas traced by CO(2-1) and HI varies depends mostly on the local physical conditions and geometry. We estimate that 11-60% and 5-34% of the [CII] intensities in the center and in BCLMP302, respectively, arise at velocities showing no CO(2-1) or HI emission and could arise in CO-dark molecular gas. The deduced strong variation in the [CII] emission not associated with CO and HI cannot be explained in terms of differences in A_v, far-ultraviolet radiation field, and metallicity between the two studied regions. Hence the relative amounts of diffuse (CO-dark) and dense molecular gas possibly vary on spatial scales smaller than 50pc. Based on the emission measure observed at radio wavelengths we estimate the contribution of ionized gas at a few positions to lie between 10-25%. The correlations between the intensities of tracers corresponding to the same velocity range as [CII], differ from the correlation derived from PACS data. The results in this paper emphasize the need for velocity-resolved observations to discern the contribution of different components of the ISM to [CII] emission. (abridged)

Achieving Consistent Doppler Measurements from SDO/HMI Vector Field Inversions

NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory is delivering vector field observations of the full solar disk with unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution; however, the satellite is in a highly inclined geostationary orbit. The relative spacecraft-Sun velocity varies by $\pm3$~km/s over a day which introduces major orbital artifacts in the Helioseismic Magnetic Imager data. We demonstrate that the orbital artifacts contaminate all spatial and temporal scales in the data. We describe a newly-developed three stage procedure for mitigating these artifacts in the Doppler data derived from the Milne-Eddington inversions in the HMI Pipeline. This procedure was applied to full disk images of AR11084 to produce consistent Dopplergrams. The data adjustments reduce the power in the orbital artifacts by 31dB. Furthermore, we analyze in detail the corrected images and show that our procedure greatly improve the temporal and spectral properties of the data without adding any new artifacts. We conclude that this new and easily implemented procedure makes a dramatic improvement in the consistency of the HMI data and in its usefulness for precision scientific studies.

Planetary System Formation in Protoplanetary Disk around HL Tauri

We re-process the Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) long-baseline science verification data taken toward HL Tauri. As shown by the previous work, we confirm that the high spatial resolution (~ 0."019, corresponding to ~ 2.7 AU) dust continuum images at \lambda = 0.87, 1.3, and 2.9 mm exhibit a multiple ring-like gap structure in the circumstellar disk. Assuming that the observed gaps are opened up by currently forming, unseen bodies, we estimate the mass of such hypothetical bodies based on following two approaches; the Hill radius analysis and a more elaborated approach developed from the angular momentum transfer analysis in gas disks. For the former, the measured gap widths are used for calibrating the mass of the bodies, while for the latter, the measured gap depths are utilized. We show that their masses are likely comparable to or less than the mass of Jovian planets, and then discuss an origin of the observed gap structure. By evaluating Toomre's gravitational instability (GI) condition and cooling effect, we find that the GI might be a possible mechanism to form the bodies in the outer region of the disk. As the disk might be gravitationally unstable only in the outer region of the disk, inward planetary migration would be needed to construct the current architecture of the hypothetical bodies. We estimate the gap-opening mass and show that type II migration might be able to play such a role. Combining GIs with inward migration, we conjecture that all of the observed gaps may be a consequence of bodies that might have originally formed at the outer part of the disk, and have subsequently migrated to the current locations. While ALMA's unprecedented high spatial resolution observations can revolutionize our picture of planet formation, more dedicated observational and theoretical studies are needed in order to fully understand the HL Tau images.

A nebular analysis of the central Orion Nebula with MUSE [Replacement]

A nebular analysis of the central Orion Nebula and its main structures is presented. We exploit MUSE integral field observations in the wavelength range 4595-9366 \r{A} to produce the first O, S and N ionic and total abundance maps of a region spanning 6' x 5' with a spatial resolution of 0.2". We use the S$_{23}$ ( = ([SII]$\lambda$6717,31+[SIII]$\lambda$9068)/H$\beta$) parameter, together with [OII]/[OIII] as an indicator of the degree of ionisation, to distinguish between the various small-scale structures. The only Orion Bullet covered by MUSE is HH 201, which shows a double component in the [FeII]$\lambda$8617 line throughout indicating an expansion, and we discuss a scenario in which this object is undergoing a disruptive event. We separate the proplyds located south of the Bright Bar into four categories depending on their S$_{23}$ values, propose the utility of the S$_{23}$ parameter as an indicator of the shock-contribution to the excitation of line-emitting atoms, and show that the MUSE data is able to identify the proplyds associated with disks and microjets. We compute the second order structure function for the H$\alpha$, [OIII]$\lambda$5007, [SII]$\lambda$6731 and [OI]$\lambda$6300 emission lines to analyse the turbulent velocity field of the region covered with MUSE. We find that the spectral and spatial resolution of MUSE is not able to faithfully reproduce the structure functions of previous works.

ALMA resolves extended star formation in high-z AGN host galaxies [Replacement]

We present high resolution (0.3") Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) 870um imaging of five z~1.5-4.5 X-ray detected AGN with luminosities of L(2-8keV)>10^42 erg/s. These data provide a >~20x improvement in spatial resolution over single-dish rest-frame FIR measurements. The sub-millimetre emission is extended on scales of FWHM~0.2"-0.5", corresponding to physical sizes of 1-3 kpc (median value of 1.8 kpc). These sizes are comparable to the majority of z=1-5 sub-millimetre galaxies (SMGs) with equivalent ALMA measurements. In combination with spectral energy distribution analyses, we attribute this rest-frame far-infrared (FIR) emission to dust heated by star formation. The implied star-formation rate surface densities are ~20-200 Mo/yr/kpc^2, which are consistent with SMGs of comparable FIR luminosities (i.e., L(IR)~[1-5]x10^(12)Lo). Although limited by a small sample of AGN, which all have high FIR luminosities, our study suggests that the kpc-scale spatial distribution and surface density of star formation in high-redshift star-forming galaxies is the same irrespective of the presence of X-ray detected AGN.

TPC-like readout for thermal neutron detection using a GEM-detector [Cross-Listing]

Spatial resolution of less than 200 um is challenging for thermal neutron detection. A novel readout scheme based on the time-projection-chamber (TPC) concept is used in a gaseous electron multiplier (GEM) detector. Thermal neutrons are captured in a single 2 um thick Boron-10 converter cathode and secondary Helium and Lithium ions are produced with a combined energy of 2.8 MeV. These ions have sufficient energy to form straight tracks of several mm length. With a time resolving 2-dimensional readout of 400 um pitch in both directions, based on APV25 chips, the ions are tracked and their respective origin in the cathode converter foil is reconstructed. Using an Ar-CO2 93:7% gas mixture, a resolution of 100 um (FWHM 235 um) has been observed with a triple GEM-detector setup at the Garching neutron source (FRMII) for neutrons of 4.7 Angstrom.

A Novel Method of Encoded Multiplexing Readout for Micro-pattern Gas Detectors [Cross-Listing]

The requirement of a large number of electronic channels poses a big challenge for Micro-pattern Gas Detector (MPGD) to achieve good spatial resolution. By using the redundancy that at least two neighboring strips record the signal of a particle, a novel method of encoded multiplexing readout for MPGDs is presented in this paper. The method offers a feasible and easily-extensible way of encoding and decoding, and can significantly reduce the number of readout channels. A verification test was carried out on a 5*5 cm2 Thick Gas Electron Multiplier (THGEM) detector using a 8 keV Cu X-ray source with 100um slit, where 166 strips are read out by 21 encoded readout channels. The test results show a good linearity in its position response, and the spatial resolution root-mean-square (RMS) of the test system is about 260 {\mu}m. This method has an attractive potential to build large area detectors and can be easily adapted to other detectors like MPGDs.

A Keck Survey of Gravitationally-Lensed Star-Forming Galaxies: High Spatial Resolution Studies of Kinematics and Metallicity Gradients [Replacement]

We discuss spatially resolved emission line spectroscopy secured for a total sample of 15 gravitationally lensed star-forming galaxies at a mean redshift of $z\simeq2$ based on Keck laser-assisted adaptive optics observations undertaken with the recently-improved OSIRIS integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph. By exploiting gravitationally lensed sources drawn primarily from the CASSOWARY survey, we sample these sub-L$^{\ast}$ galaxies with source-plane resolutions of a few hundred parsecs ensuring well-sampled 2-D velocity data and resolved variations in the gas-phase metallicity. Such high spatial resolution data offers a critical check on the structural properties of larger samples derived with coarser sampling using multiple-IFU instruments. We demonstrate how kinematic complexities essential to understanding the maturity of an early star-forming galaxy can often only be revealed with better sampled data. Although we include four sources from our earlier work, the present study provides a more representative sample unbiased with respect to emission line strength. Contrary to earlier suggestions, our data indicates a more diverse range of kinematic and metal gradient behavior inconsistent with a simple picture of well-ordered rotation developing concurrently with established steep metal gradients in all but merging systems. Comparing our observations with the predictions of hydrodynamical simulations suggests that gas and metals have been mixed by outflows or other strong feedback processes, flattening the metal gradients in early star-forming galaxies.

A Keck Adaptive Optics Survey of a Representative Sample of Gravitationally-Lensed Star-Forming Galaxies: High Spatial Resolution Studies of Kinematics and Metallicity Gradients

We discuss spatially resolved emission line spectroscopy secured for a total sample of 15 gravitationally lensed star-forming galaxies at a mean redshift of $z\simeq2$ based on Keck laser-assisted adaptive optics observations undertaken with the recently-improved OSIRIS integral field unit (IFU) spectrograph. By exploiting gravitationally lensed sources drawn primarily from the CASSOWARY survey, we sample these sub-L$^{\ast}$ galaxies with source-plane resolutions of a few hundred parsecs ensuring well-sampled 2-D velocity data and resolved variations in the gas-phase metallicity. Such high spatial resolution data offers a critical check on the structural properties of larger samples derived with coarser sampling using multiple-IFU instruments. We demonstrate how serious errors of interpretation can only be revealed through better sampling. Although we include four sources from our earlier work, the present study provides a more representative sample unbiased with respect to emission line strength. Contrary to earlier suggestions, our data indicates a more diverse range of kinematic and metal gradient behavior inconsistent with a simple picture of well-ordered rotation developing concurrently with established steep metal gradients in all but merging systems. Comparing our observations with the predictions of hydrodynamical simulations suggests that strong feedback plays a key role in flattening metal gradients in early star-forming galaxies.

The Caterpillar Project: A Large Suite of Milky Way Sized Halos [Replacement]

We present the largest number of Milky Way sized dark matter halos simulated at very high mass ($\sim$$10^4$ M$_\odot$/particle) and temporal resolution ($\sim$5 Myrs/snapshot) done to date, quadrupling what is currently available in the literature. This initial suite consists of the first 24 halos of the $Caterpillar$ $Project$ (www.caterpillarproject.org) whose project goal of 60 - 70 halos will be made public when complete. We resolve $\sim$20,000 gravitationally bound subhalos within the virial radius of each host halo. Over the ranges set by our spatial resolution our convergence is excellent and improvements were made upon current state-of-the-art halo finders to better identify substructure at such high resolutions (e.g., on average we recover $\sim$4 subhalos in each host halo above 10$^8$ M$_\odot$ which would have otherwise not been found using conventional methods). For our relaxed halos, the inner profiles are reasonably fit by Einasto profiles ($\alpha$ = 0.169 $\pm$ 0.023) though this depends on the relaxed nature and assembly history of a given halo. Averaging over all halos, the substructure mass fraction is $f_{m,subs} = 0.121 \pm 0.041$, and mass function slope is d$N$/d$M\propto M^{-1.88 \pm 0.10}$ though we find scatter in the normalizations for fixed halo mass due to more concentrated hosts having less subhalos at fixed subhalo mass. There are no biases stemming from Lagrangian volume selection as all Lagrangian volume types are included in our sample. Our detailed contamination study of 264 low resolution halos has resulted in obtaining very large and unprecedented, high-resolution regions around our host halos for our target resolution (sphere of radius $\sim$$1.4 \pm 0.4$ Mpc) allowing for accurate studies of low mass dwarf galaxies at large galactocentric radii and the very first stellar systems at high redshift ($z \geq$ 10).

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 5.6x7.3 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 ~180x50 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.

 

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