550 research outputs found

    Bayesian methods of astronomical source extraction

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    We present two new source extraction methods, based on Bayesian model selection and using the Bayesian Information Criterion (BIC). The first is a source detection filter, able to simultaneously detect point sources and estimate the image background. The second is an advanced photometry technique, which measures the flux, position (to sub-pixel accuracy), local background and point spread function. We apply the source detection filter to simulated Herschel-SPIRE data and show the filter's ability to both detect point sources and also simultaneously estimate the image background. We use the photometry method to analyse a simple simulated image containing a source of unknown flux, position and point spread function; we not only accurately measure these parameters, but also determine their uncertainties (using Markov-Chain Monte Carlo sampling). The method also characterises the nature of the source (distinguishing between a point source and extended source). We demonstrate the effect of including additional prior knowledge. Prior knowledge of the point spread function increase the precision of the flux measurement, while prior knowledge of the background has onlya small impact. In the presence of higher noise levels, we show that prior positional knowledge (such as might arise from a strong detection in another waveband) allows us to accurately measure the source flux even when the source is too faint to be detected directly. These methods are incorporated in SUSSEXtractor, the source extraction pipeline for the forthcoming Akari FIS far-infrared all-sky survey. They are also implemented in a stand-alone, beta-version public tool that can be obtained at http://astronomy.sussex.ac.uk/∼\simrss23/sourceMiner\_v0.1.2.0.tar.gzComment: Accepted for publication by ApJ (this version compiled used emulateapj.cls

    Detection of Optical Synchrotron Emission from the Radio Jet of 3C279

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    We report the detection of optical and ultraviolet emission from the kiloparsec scale jet of the well-known quasar 3C~279. A bright knot, discovered in archival V and U band {\it Hubble Space Telescope} Faint Object Camera images, is coincident with a peak in the radio jet \sim0.6\arcsec from the nucleus. The detection was also confirmed in Wide Field Planetary Camera-2 images. Archival Very Large Array and MERLIN radio data are also analyzed which help to show that the high-energy optical/UV continuum, and spectrum, are consistent with a synchrotron origin from the same population of relativistic electrons responsible for the radio emission.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figs. accepted for publication in ApJL with minor revision

    Identification of new transitional disk candidates in Lupus with Herschel

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    New data from the Herschel Space Observatory are broadening our understanding of the physics and evolution of the outer regions of protoplanetary disks in star forming regions. In particular they prove to be useful to identify transitional disk candidates. The goals of this work are to complement the detections of disks and the identification of transitional disk candidates in the Lupus clouds with data from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey. We extracted photometry at 70, 100, 160, 250, 350 and 500 μ\mum of all spectroscopically confirmed Class II members previously identified in the Lupus regions and analyzed their updated spectral energy distributions. We have detected 34 young disks in Lupus in at least one Herschel band, from an initial sample of 123 known members in the observed fields. Using the criteria defined in Ribas et al. (2013) we have identified five transitional disk candidates in the region. Three of them are new to the literature. Their PACS-70 μ\mum fluxes are systematically higher than those of normal T Tauri stars in the same associations, as already found in T Cha and in the transitional disks in the Chamaeleon molecular cloud. Herschel efficiently complements mid-infrared surveys for identifying transitional disk candidates and confirms that these objects seem to have substantially different outer disks than the T Tauri stars in the same molecular clouds.Comment: Accepted for publication in A&A. 16 pages, 9 figures, 7 table

    Embedded Star Formation in the Eagle Nebula with Spitzer/GLIMPSE

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    We present new Spitzer photometry of the Eagle Nebula (M16, containing the optical cluster NGC 6611) combined with near-infrared photometry from 2MASS. We use dust radiative transfer models, mid-infrared and near-infrared color-color analysis, and mid-infrared spectral indices to analyze point source spectral energy distributions, select candidate young stellar objects (YSOs), and constrain their mass and evolutionary state. Comparison of the different protostellar selection methods shows that mid-infrared methods are consistent, but as has been known for some time, near-infrared-only analysis misses some young objects. We reveal more than 400 protostellar candidates, including one massive young stellar object (YSO) that has not been previously highlighted. The YSO distribution supports a picture of distributed low-level star formation, with no strong evidence of triggered star formation in the ``pillars''. We confirm the youth of NGC 6611 by a large fraction of infrared-excess sources, and reveal a younger cluster of YSOs in the nearby molecular cloud. Analysis of the YSO clustering properties shows a possible imprint of the molecular cloud's Jeans length. Multiwavelength mid-IR imaging thus allows us to analyze the protostellar population, to measure the dust temperature and column density, and to relate these in a consistent picture of star formation in M16.Comment: 16p preprint - ApJ accepte

    The impact of main belt asteroids on infrared--submillimetre photometry and source counts

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    > Among the components of the infrared and submillimetre sky background, the closest layer is the thermal emission of dust particles and minor bodies in the Solar System. This contribution is especially important for current and future infrared and submillimetre space instruments --like those of Spitzer, Akari and Herschel -- and must be characterised by a reliable statistical model. > We describe the impact of the thermal emission of main belt asteroids on the 5...1000um photometry and source counts, for the current and future spaceborne and ground-based instruments, in general, as well as for specific dates and sky positions. > We used the statistical asteroid model (SAM) to calculate the positions of main belt asteroids down to a size of 1km, and calculated their infrared and submillimetre brightness using the standard thermal model. Fluctuation powers, confusion noise values and number counts were derived from the fluxes of individual asteroids. > We have constructed a large database of infrared and submillimetre fluxes for SAM asteroids with a temporal resolution of 5 days, covering the time span January 1, 2000 -- December 31, 2012. Asteroid fluctuation powers and number counts derived from this database can be obtained for a specific observation setup via our public web-interface. > Current space instruments working in the mid-infrared regime (Akari and Spitzer Space Telescopes) are affected by asteroid confusion noise in some specific areas of the sky, while the photometry of space infrared and submillimetre instruments in the near future (e.g. Herschel and Planck Space Observatories) will not be affected by asteroids. Faint main belt asteroids might also be responsible for most of the zodiacal emission fluctuations near the ecliptic.Comment: accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics; Additional material (appendices) and the related web-interface can be found at: "http://kisag.konkoly.hu/solarsystem/irsam.html

    The dusty environment of HD 97300 as seen by Herschel and Spitzer

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    Aims. We analyze the surroundings of HD 97300, one of two intermediate-mass stars in the Chamaeleon I star-forming region. The star is known to be surrounded by a conspicuous ring of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Methods. We present infrared images taken with Herschel and Spitzer using 11 different broad-band filters between 3.6 um and 500 um. We compare the morphology of the emission using cuts along different position angles. We construct spectral energy distributions, which we compare to different dust models, and calculate dust temperatures. We also derive opacity maps and analyze the density structure of the environment of HD 97300. Results. We find that HD 97300 has no infrared excess at or below 24 um, confirming its zero-age main-sequence nature. The morphology of the ring is very similar between 3.6 um and 24 um. The emission at these wavelengths is dominated by either PAH features or PAH continuum. At longer wavelengths, only the northwestern part of the ring is visible. A fit to the 100-500 um observations suggests that the emission is due to relatively warm (~26 K) dust. The temperature gradually decreases with increasing distance from the ring. We find a general decrease in the density from north to south, and an approximate 10% density increase in the northeastern part of the ring. Conclusions. Our results are consistent with the theory that the ring around HD 97300 is essentially a bubble blown into the surrounding interstellar matter and heated by the star.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    <i>Herschel</i> observations of the debris disc around HIP 92043

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    Context. Typical debris discs are composed of particles ranging from several micron sized dust grains to km sized asteroidal bodies, and their infrared emission peaks at wavelengths 60-100 μm. Recent Herschel DUNES observations have identified several debris discs around nearby Sun-like stars (F, G and K spectral type) with significant excess emission only at 160 μm. Aims. We observed HIP 92043 (110 Her, HD 173667) at far-infrared and sub-millimetre wavelengths with Herschel PACS and SPIRE. Identification of the presence of excess emission from HIP 92043 and the origin and physical properties of any excess was undertaken through analysis of its spectral energy distribution (SED) and the PACS images. Methods. The PACS and SPIRE images were produced using the HIPE photProject map maker routine. Fluxes were measured using aperture photometry. A stellar photosphere model was scaled to optical and near infrared photometry and subtracted from the far-infared and sub-mm fluxes to determine the presence of excess emission. Source radial profiles were fitted using a 2D Gaussian and compared to a PSF model based on Herschel observations of α Boo to check for extended emission. Results. Clear excess emission from HIP 92043 was observed at 70 and 100 μm. Marginal excess was observed at 160 and 250 μm. Analysis of the images reveals that the source is extended at 160 μm. A fit to the source SED is inconsistent with a photosphere and single temperature black body. Conclusions. The excess emission from HIP 92043 is consistent with the presence of an unresolved circumstellar debris disc at 70 and 100 μm, with low probability of background contamination. The extended 160 μm emission may be interpreted as an additional cold component to the debris disc or as the result of background contamination along the line of sight. The nature of the 160 μm excess cannot be determined absolutely from the available data, but we favour a debris disc interpretation, drawing parallels with previously identified cold disc sources in the DUNES sample

    Identification of transitional disks in Chamaeleon with Herschel

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    Transitional disks are circumstellar disks with inner holes that in some cases are produced by planets and/or substellar companions in these systems. For this reason, these disks are extremely important for the study of planetary system formation. The Herschel Space Observatory provides an unique opportunity for studying the outer regions of protoplanetary disks. In this work we update previous knowledge on the transitional disks in the Chamaeleon I and II regions with data from the Herschel Gould Belt Survey. We propose a new method for transitional disk classification based on the WISE 12 micron-PACS 70 micron color, together with inspection of the Herschel images. We applied this method to the population of Class II sources in the Chamaeleon region and studied the spectral energy distributions of the transitional disks in the sample. We also built the median spectral energy distribution of Class II objects in these regions for comparison with transitional disks. The proposed method allows a clear separation of the known transitional disks from the Class II sources. We find 6 transitional disks, all previously known, and identify 5 objects previously thought to be transitional as possibly non-transitional. We find higher fluxes at the PACS wavelengths in the sample of transitional disks than those of Class II objects. We show the Herschel 70 micron band to be an efficient tool for transitional disk identification. The sensitivity and spatial resolution of Herschel reveals a significant contamination level among the previously identified transitional disk candidates for the two regions, which calls for a revision of previous samples of transitional disks in other regions. The systematic excess found at the PACS bands could be a result of the mechanism that produces the transitional phase, or an indication of different evolutionary paths for transitional disks and Class II sources.Comment: Accepted for publication in A&A: 11 March 2013 11 pages, 15 figure

    A VLA Search for Water Masers in Six HII Regions: Tracers of Triggered Low-Mass Star Formation

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    We present a search for water maser emission at 22 GHz associated with young low-mass protostars in six HII regions -- M16, M20, NGC 2264, NGC 6357, S125, and S140. The survey was conducted with the NRAO Very Large Array from 2000 to 2002. For several of these HII regions, ours are the first high-resolution observations of water masers. We detected 16 water masers: eight in M16, four in M20, three in S140, and one in NGC 2264. All but one of these were previously undetected. No maser emission was detected from NGC 6357 or S125. There are two principle results to our study. (1) The distribution of water masers in M16 and M20 does not appear to be random but instead is concentrated in a layer of compressed gas within a few tenths of a parsec of the ionization front. (2) Significantly fewer masers are seen in the observed fields than expected based on other indications of ongoing star formation, indicating that the maser-exciting lifetime of protostars is much shorter in HII regions than in regions of isolated star formation. Both of these results confirm predictions of a scenario in which star formation is first triggered by shocks driven in advance of ionization fronts, and then truncated approximately 10^5 years later when the region is overrun by the ionization front.Comment: 30 pages, 20 figures, 3 tables. Accepted for publication by ApJ. Full resolution figures and PS and PDF versions with full-res figures available at http://eagle.la.asu.edu/healy/preprints/hhc0

    Incidence of debris discs around FGK stars in the solar neighbourhood

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    Debris discs are a consequence of the planet formation process and constitute the fingerprints of planetesimal systems. Their solar system's counterparts are the asteroid and Edgeworth-Kuiper belts. The aim of this paper is to provide robust numbers for the incidence of debris discs around FGK stars in the solar neighbourhood. The full sample of 177 FGK stars with d<20 pc proposed for the DUNES survey is presented. Herschel/PACS observations at 100 and 160 micron complemented with data at 70 micron, and at 250, 350 and 500 micron SPIRE photometry, were obtained. The 123 objects observed by the DUNES collaboration were presented in a previous paper. The remaining 54 stars, shared with the DEBRIS consortium and observed by them, and the combined full sample are studied in this paper. The incidence of debris discs per spectral type is analysed and put into context together with other parameters of the sample, like metallicity, rotation and activity, and age. The subsample of 105 stars with d<15 pc containing 23 F, 33 G and 49 K stars, is complete for F stars, almost complete for G stars and contains a substantial number of K stars to draw solid conclusions on objects of this spectral type. The incidence rates of debris discs per spectral type 0.26 (6 objects with excesses out of 23 F stars), 0.21 (7 out of 33 G stars) and 0.20 (10 out of 49 K stars), the fraction for all three spectral types together being 0.22 (23 out of 105 stars). Uncertainties corresponding to a 95% confidence level are given in the text for all these numbers. The medians of the upper limits of L_dust/L_* for each spectral type are 7.8E-7 (F), 1.4E-6 (G) and 2.2E-6 (K); the lowest values being around 4.0E-7. The incidence of debris discs is similar for active (young) and inactive (old) stars. The fractional luminosity tends to drop with increasing age, as expected from collisional erosion of the debris belts.Comment: 31 pages, 15 figures, 10 tables, 2 appendice
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