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    Technical Note 9 – Athena filters: conclusion and programmatic

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    This document summarizes the main results of the activity. The most important aspects related to fabrication of target filters are presented together with their most important characterized properties. Based on the presented results we made few recommendations in the scheme of ATHENA filter planning

    The second data release from the European Pulsar Timing Array

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    Pulsar timing arrays offer a probe of the low-frequency gravitational wave spectrum (1"100 nHz), which is intimately connected to a number of markers that can uniquely trace the formation and evolution of the Universe. We present the dataset and the results of the timing analysis from the second data release of the European Pulsar Timing Array (EPTA). The dataset contains high-precision pulsar timing data from 25 millisecond pulsars collected with the five largest radio telescopes in Europe, as well as the Large European Array for Pulsars. The dataset forms the foundation for the search for gravitational waves by the EPTA, presented in associated papers. We describe the dataset and present the results of the frequentist and Bayesian pulsar timing analysis for individual millisecond pulsars that have been observed over the last ~25 yr. We discuss the improvements to the individual pulsar parameter estimates, as well as new measurements of the physical properties of these pulsars and their companions. This data release extends the dataset from EPTA Data Release 1 up to the beginning of 2021, with individual pulsar datasets with timespans ranging from 14 to 25 yr. These lead to improved constraints on annual parallaxes, secular variation of the orbital period, and Shapiro delay for a number of sources. Based on these results, we derived astrophysical parameters that include distances, transverse velocities, binary pulsar masses, and annual orbital parallaxes

    AstroEDU Report 2022/2023

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    AstroEDU (https://astroedu.iau.org) is the free, open-access platform for educational activities supported by the Office of Astronomy for Education (OAE) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Starting from the 1st of April 2022, astroEDU went through a deep reorganization: in this Report, we describe the first year of activities of the Editorial Board (1st of April 2022-1st of April 2023), its achievements and the plans for the near future

    JWST PEARLS. Prime Extragalactic Areas for Reionization and Lensing Science: Project Overview and First Results

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    We give an overview and describe the rationale, methods, and first results from NIRCam images of the JWST "Prime Extragalactic Areas for Reionization and Lensing Science" (PEARLS) project. PEARLS uses up to eight NIRCam filters to survey several prime extragalactic survey areas: two fields at the North Ecliptic Pole (NEP); seven gravitationally lensing clusters; two high redshift protoclusters; and the iconic backlit VV 191 galaxy system to map its dust attenuation. PEARLS also includes NIRISS spectra for one of the NEP fields and NIRSpec spectra of two high-redshift quasars. The main goal of PEARLS is to study the epoch of galaxy assembly, active galactic nucleus (AGN) growth, and First Light. Five fields-the JWST NEP Time-Domain Field (TDF), IRAC Dark Field, and three lensing clusters-will be observed in up to four epochs over a year. The cadence and sensitivity of the imaging data are ideally suited to find faint variable objects such as weak AGN, high-redshift supernovae, and cluster caustic transits. Both NEP fields have sightlines through our Galaxy, providing significant numbers of very faint brown dwarfs whose proper motions can be studied. Observations from the first spoke in the NEP TDF are public. This paper presents our first PEARLS observations, their NIRCam data reduction and analysis, our first object catalogs, the 0.9-4.5 μm galaxy counts and Integrated Galaxy Light. We assess the JWST sky brightness in 13 NIRCam filters, yielding our first constraints to diffuse light at 0.9-4.5 μm. PEARLS is designed to be of lasting benefit to the community

    SpectraPy Documentation

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    This is the SpectraPy manual. SpectraPy is an Astropy affiliated package, which collects algorithms and methods for data reduction of astronomical spectra obtained by a through slits spectrograph

    ATHENA Italian Management Plan

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    The scope of this management plan (MP) is to describe the management of the Italian team in the ATHENA space mission and to clarify roles and responsibilities within the Italian team. Objective of this document is to provide a structured and consistent approach to the Italian management of the ATHENA project to be compliant with the ESA programmatic development. This MP considers all the project management activities that are addressed by the ESA standard ECSS-M-ST-10C “Space project management” in the framework of the Italian Collaboration in the ATHENA mission. The Funding Agency (FA) responsible for the national contribution to the mission is the Italian Space Agency (ASI)

    Future space experiment platforms for astrobiology and astrochemistry research

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    Space experiments are a technically challenging but a scientifically important part of astrobiology and astrochemistry research. The International Space Station (ISS) is an excellent example of a highly successful and long-lasting research platform for experiments in space, that has provided a wealth of scientific data over the last two decades. However, future space platforms present new opportunities to conduct experiments with the potential to address key topics in astrobiology and astrochemistry. In this perspective, the European Space Agency (ESA) Topical Team Astrobiology and Astrochemistry (with feedback from the wider scientific community) identifies a number of key topics and summarizes the 2021 “ESA SciSpacE Science Community White Paper” for astrobiology and astrochemistry. We highlight recommendations for the development and implementation of future experiments, discuss types of in situ measurements, experimental parameters, exposure scenarios and orbits, and identify knowledge gaps and how to advance scientific utilization of future space-exposure platforms that are either currently under development or in an advanced planning stage. In addition to the ISS, these platforms include CubeSats and SmallSats, as well as larger platforms such as the Lunar Orbital Gateway. We also provide an outlook for in situ experiments on the Moon and Mars, and welcome new possibilities to support the search for exoplanets and potential biosignatures within and beyond our solar system

    Science priorities for the extraction of the solid MSR samples from their sample tubes

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    Preservation of the chemical and structural integrity of samples that will be brought back from Mars is paramount to achieving the scientific objectives of MS

    Reply to: Explaining bright radar reflections below the south pole of Mars without liquid water

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    In their Matter Arising Lalich et al.1 simulate MARSIS echoes at the base of the South Polar Layered Deposits (SPLD) assuming three different layering scenarios (Fig. 1 in ref.1): (a) dusty water ice overlaying bedrock; (b) one CO2 ice layer between dusty water ice and bedrock; and, (c) two basal CO2 ice layers interbedded with one layer of dusty water ice. A surficial layer of CO2 ice ranging from 0 m (no layer) to 2 m in thickness is also considered. The first layer in each simulation is a semi-infinite half space assigned the permittivity of free space, and the bedrock is a semi-infinite half space with pure basaltic rock permittivity. These authors argue that constructive interference generated by some layered configurations produce waveforms (Fig. 2 in ref.1) with local maxima corresponding to the bright basal reflections observed by MARSIS at Ultimi Scopuli 2,3. They conclude that this explanation is more plausible than liquid brines being the source of the bright reflections, as posited instead by Orosei et al.2 and Lauro et al.3. In an earlier paper, however, Orosei et al.4 explored the same model and mathematics covering the entire range of possible parameters for two and three basal CO2 ice layers. Through the quantitative analysis of 3.45 x 108 simulation results, these authors demonstrated that local maxima at one of the MARSIS operating frequencies are not matched by local maxima at the other operating frequencies: that is, a layer stack producing constructive interference at one frequency, does not produce the same effect at the other frequencies, which is inconsistent with MARSIS real data. Thus, constructive interference by basal layers is not a viable mechanism to explain the bright basal reflections at Ultimi Scopuli. Because most of the points in Lalich et al.1 are superseded by Orosei et al.’s4 work, we refer interested readers to that earlier paper for a full discussion of the models and results. Here, we focus on three critical aspects: electromagnetic model; dielectric values used in the simulations; and materials and geology

    Cometary science with CUBES

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    The proposed CUBES spectrograph for ESO’s Very Large Telescope will be an exceptionally powerful instrument for the study of comets. The gas coma of a comet contains a large number of emission features in the near-UV range covered by CUBES (305-400 nm), which are diagnostic of the composition of the ices in its nucleus and the chemistry in the coma. Production rates and relative ratios between different species reveal how much ice is present and inform models of the conditions in the early solar system. In particular, CUBES will lead to advances in detection of water from very faint comets, revealing how much ice may be hidden in the main asteroid belt, and in measuring isotopic and molecular composition ratios in a much wider range of comets than currently possible, provide constraints on their formation temperatures. CUBES will also be sensitive to emissions from gaseous metals (e.g., FeI and NiI), which have recently been identified in comets and offer an entirely new area of investigation to understand these enigmatic objects

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