325 research outputs found

    Metallicities, dust and molecular content of a QSO-Damped Lyman-{\alpha} system reaching log N (H i) = 22: An analog to GRB-DLAs

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    We present the elemental abundance and H2 content measurements of a Damped Lyman-{\alpha} (DLA) system with an extremely large H i column density, log N(H i) (cm-2) = 22.0+/-0.10, at zabs = 3.287 towards the QSO SDSS J 081634+144612. We measure column densities of H2, C i, C i^*, Zn ii, Fe ii, Cr ii, Ni ii and Si ii from a high signal-to-noise and high spectral resolution VLT-UVES spectrum. The overall metallicity of the system is [Zn/H] = -1.10 +/- 0.10 relative to solar. Two molecular hydrogen absorption components are seen at z = 3.28667 and 3.28742 (a velocity separation of \approx 52 km s-1) in rotational levels up to J = 3. We derive a total H2 column density of log N(H2) (cm-2) = 18.66 and a mean molecular fraction of f = 2N(H2)/[2N(H2) + N(H i)] = 10-3.04+/-0.37, typical of known H2-bearing DLA systems. From the observed abundance ratios we conclude that dust is present in the Interstellar Medium (ISM) of this galaxy, with a enhanced abundance in the H2-bearing clouds. However, the total amount of dust along the line of sight is not large and does not produce any significant reddening of the background QSO. The physical conditions in the H2-bearing clouds are constrained directly from the column densities of H2 in different rotational levels, C i and C i^* . The kinetic temperature is found to be T = 75 K and the particle density lies in the range nH = 50-80 cm-3 . The neutral hydrogen column density of this DLA is similar to the mean H i column density of DLAs observed at the redshift of {\gamma}-ray bursts (GRBs). We explore the relationship between GRB-DLAs and high column density end of QSO-DLAs finding that the properties (metallicity and depletion) of DLAs with log N(H i) > 21.5 in the two populations do not appear to be significantly different

    ISM studies of GRB 030329 with high resolution spectroscopy

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    We present a series of early UVES/VLT high resolution spectra of the afterglow of GRB 030329 at redshift z=0.16867+-0.00001. In contrast to other spectra from this burst, both emission and absorption lines were detected. None of them showed any temporal evolution. From the emission lines, we determine the properties of the host galaxy which has a star formation rate (SFR) of 0.198 M_solar yr^-1 and a low metallicity of 1/7 Z_solar. Given the low total stellar host mass M_star=10^7.75+-0.15 M_solar and an absolute luminosity m_V=-16.37, we derive specific SFRs (SSFR) of log SFR/M = -8.5 yr^-1 and SFR/L = 14.1 M_solar yr^-1 L_*^-1. This fits well into the picture of GRB hosts as being low mass, low metallicity, actively star forming galaxies. The MgII and MgI absorption lines from the host show multiple narrow (Doppler width b=5-10 km/s) components spanning a range of v about 260 km/s, mainly blueshifted compared to the redshift from the emission lines. These components are likely probing outflowing material of the host galaxy, which could arise from former galactic superwinds, driven by supernovae from star forming regions. Similar features have been observed in QSO spectra. The outflowing material is mainly neutral with high column densities of log N(MgII)=14.0+-0.1 cm^-2 and log N(MgI)=12.3+-0.1 cm^-2.Comment: 11 pages, 4 figures, submitted to Ap

    A High Signal-to-Noise Ratio Composite Spectrum of Gamma-ray Burst Afterglows

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    We present a composite spectrum of 60 long duration gamma-ray burst (GRB) afterglows with redshifts in the range 0.35<z<6.7 observed with low resolution optical spectra. The composite spectrum covers the wavelength range 700-6600 A in the rest frame and has a mean signal-to-noise ratio of 150 per 1 A pixel and reaches a maximum of ~300 in the range 2500-3500 A. Equivalent widths are measured from metal absorption lines from the Lya line to ~5200 A, and associated metal and hydrogen lines are identified between the Lyman break and Lya line. The average transmission within the Lyman forest is consistent with that found along quasar lines of sight. We find a temporal variation in fine structure lines when dividing the sample into bursts observed within 2 hours from their trigger and those observed later. Other lines in the predominantly neutral gas show variations too, but this is most likely a random effect caused by weighting of individual strong absorption lines and which mimics a temporal variation. Bursts characterized with high or low prompt GRB energy release produce afterglows with similar absorption line strengths, and likewise for bursts with bright or faint optical afterglows. Bursts defined as dark from their optical to X-ray spectral index have stronger absorption lines relative to the optically bright bursts. The composite spectrum has strong CaII and MgII absorption lines as commonly found in dusty galaxies, however, we find no evidence for dust or a significant molecular content based on the non-detection of diffuse interstellar bands. Compared to starburst galaxy spectra, the GRB composite has much stronger fine structure lines, while metal absorption lines are weaker.Comment: Accepted for publication in ApJ, 24 page

    The metallicity properties of simulated long-GRB galaxy hosts and the Fundamental Metallicity Relation

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    We study the implication of the collapsar model for Long Gamma-Ray Bursts (LGRBs) on the metallicity properties of the host galaxies, by combining high-resolution N-body simulations with semi-analytic models of galaxy formation. The cosmological model that we use reproduces the Fundamental Metallicity Relation recently discovered for the SDSS galaxies, whereby the metallicity decreases with increasing Star Formation Rate for galaxies of a given stellar mass. We select host galaxies housing pockets of gas-particles, young and with different thresholds in metallicities, that can be sites of LRGB events, according to the collapsar model. The simulated samples are compared with 18 observed LGRB hosts in the aim at discriminating whether the metallicity is a primary parameter. We find that a threshold in metallicity for the LGRB progenitors, within the model galaxies, is not necessary in order to reproduce the observed distribution of host metallicities. The low metallicities of observed LGRB hosts is a consequence of the high star formation environment. The star formation rate appears to be the primary parameter to generate a burst event. Finally, we show that only a few LGRBs are observed in massive, highly extincted galaxies, while these galaxies are expected to produce many such events. We identify these missing events with the fraction of dark LGRBs.Comment: 9 pages, 5 figures, submitted MNRA

    The Redshift Evolution of the Metagalactic Ionizing Flux Inferred from Metal Line Ratios in the Lyman Forest

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    Metal line ratios in a sample of 13 quasar spectra obtained with the HIRES spectrograph on the KeckI telescope have been analyzed to characterize the evolution of the metagalactic ionizing flux near a redshift of 3. The evolution of SiIV/CIV has been determined using three different techniques: using total column densities of absorption line complexes, as in Songaila & Cowie (1996); using the column densities of individual Voigt profile components within complexes; and using direct optical depth ratios. All three methods show that SiIV/CIV changes abruptly at a redshift near 3, requiring a jump in value of about a factor of 3.4, and indicating a significant change in the ionizing spectrum that occurs rapidly between z = 2.9 and z = 3, just above the redshift at which Reimers et al. (1997) detected patchy HeII Lyman alpha absorption. At lower redshifts, the ionization balance is consistent with a pure power law ionizing spectrum but at higher redshifts the spectrum must be very soft, with a large break at the He+ edge. An optical depth ratio technique is used to measure the abundances of ions whose transitions lie within the forest and CIII, SiIII and OVI are detected in this way. The presence of a significant amount of OVI at z > 3 suggests either a considerable volume of HeIII bubbles embedded in the more general region where the ionizing flux is heavily broken, or the addition of collisional ionization to the simple photoionization models.Comment: 51 pages including 21 encapsulated postscript figures. Full version, including complete Figure 5, available at http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/~acowie/meta_flux.html To be published in the June, 1998 Astronomical Journal (accepted February 18, 1998

    Dust-to-metal ratios in damped Lyman-alpha absorbers: Fresh clues to the origins of dust and optical extinction towards gamma-ray bursts

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    Motivated by the anomalous dust-to-metal ratios derived in the literature for gamma-ray burst (GRB) damped Lyman-alpha absorbers (DLAs), we measure these ratios using the dust-depletion pattern observed in UV/optical afterglow spectra associated with the ISM at the GRB host-galaxy redshifts. Our sample consists of 20 GRB absorbers and a comparison sample of 72 QSO-DLAs with redshift 1.2 < z < 4.0 and down to Z = 0.002 Z_Sol metallicities. The dust-to-metal ratio in QSO- and GRB-DLAs increases both with metallicity and metal column density, spanning ~10--110% of the Galactic value and pointing to a non universal dust-to-metal ratio. The low values of dust-to-metal ratio suggest that low-metallicity systems have lower dust fractions than typical spiral galaxies and perhaps that the dust in these systems is produced inefficiently, i.e. by grain growth in the low-metallicity regime with negligible contribution from supernovae (SNe) and asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. On the other hand, some GRB- and QSO-DLAs show high dust-to-metal ratio values out to z ~ 4, requiring rapid dust production, such as in SN ejecta, but also in AGB winds and via grain growth for the highest metallicity systems. GRB-DLAs overall follow the dust-to-metal-ratio properties of QSO-DLAs, GRBs probing up to larger column and volume densities. For comparison, the dust-to-metal ratio that we derive for the SMC and LMC are ~82--100% and ~98% of the Galactic value, respectively. The literature dust-to-metal ratio of the low-metallicity galaxy I Zw 18 (< 37%) is consistent with the distribution that we find. The dust extinction Av increases steeply with the column density of iron in dust, N(Fe)dust, calculated from relative metal abundances, confirming that dust extinction is mostly occurring in the host galaxy ISM. Most GRB-DLAs display log N(Fe)dust > 14.7, above which several QSO-DLAs reveal H2 (abridged).Comment: 14 pages, 9 figures. A&A, in pres

    A Methodology and Simulation-Based Toolchain for Estimating Deployment Performance of Smart Collective Services at the Edge

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    Research trends are pushing artificial intelligence (AI) across the Internet of Things (IoT)-edge-fog-cloud continuum to enable effective data analytics, decision making, as well as the efficient use of resources for QoS targets. Approaches for collective adaptive systems (CASs) engineering, such as aggregate computing, provide declarative programming models and tools for dealing with the uncertainty and the complexity that may arise from scale, heterogeneity, and dynamicity. Crucially, aggregate computing architecture allows for 'pulverization': applications can be decomposed into many deployable micromodules that can be spread across the ICT infrastructure, thus allowing multiple potential deployment configurations for the same application logic. This article studies the deployment architecture of aggregate-based edge services and its implications in terms of performance and cost. The goal is to provide methodological guidelines and a model-based toolchain for the generation and simulation-based evaluation of potential deployments. First, we address this subject methodologically by proposing an approach based on deployment code generators and a simulation phase whose obtained solutions are assessed with respect to their performance and costs. We then tailor this approach to aggregate computing applications deployed onto an IoT-edge-fog-cloud infrastructure, and we develop a corresponding toolchain based on Protelis and EdgeCloudSim. Finally, we evaluate the approach and tools through a case study of edge multimedia streaming, where the edge ecosystem exhibits intelligence by self-organizing into clusters to promote load balancing in large-scale dynamic settings

    The X-ray absorbing column densities of Swift Gamma-ray bursts

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    Long gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are associated with the explosion of massive stars in star forming regions. A large fraction of GRBs show intrinsic absorption as detected in optical spectra but absorption signatures are also detectable in afterglow X-ray spectra. We present here a comprehensive analysis the full sample of 93 GRBs with known redshift promptly observed by Swift XRT up to June 2009. The distribution of X-ray column densities clearly shows that GRBs are heavily absorbed indicating that they indeed occur in dense environments. Furthermore, there is a lack of heavily absorbed GRBs at low redshift (z<1-2) that might therefore be candidates for the missing `dark' GRB population. However, there is no statistically significant correlation between the amount of X-ray absorption and the `darkness' of a GRB. Finally, we compare the hydrogen column densities derived in the optical with those derived from X-ray absorption. The two distributions are different, with the optical column densities being lower than the X-ray ones, which is even more apparent when correcting for metallicity effects. The most likely explanation is photoionization of hydrogen in the circumburst material caused by the radiation field of the burst.Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS (7 pages, 4 figures

    GRBs as Cosmological Probes - Cosmic Chemical Evolution

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    Long-duration gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are associated with the death of metal-poor massive stars. Even though they are highly transient events very hard to localize, they are so bright that they can be detected in the most difficult environments. GRB observations are unveiling a surprising view of the chemical state of the distant universe (redshifts z > 2). Contrary to what is expected for a high-z metal-poor star, the neutral interstellar medium (ISM) around GRBs is not metal poor (metallicities vary from ~1/10 solar at z = 6.3 to about solar at z = 2) and is enriched with dust (90-99% of iron is in solid form). If these metallicities are combined with those measured in the warm ISM of GRB host galaxies at z < 1, a redshift evolution is observed. Such an evolution predicts that the stellar masses of the hosts are in the range M* = 10^(8.6-9.8) Msun. This prediction makes use of the mass-metallicity relation (and its redshift evolution) observed in normal star-forming galaxies. Independent measurements coming from the optical-NIR photometry of GRB hosts indicate the same range of stellar masses, with a typical value similar to that of the Large Magellanic Cloud. This newly detected population of intermediate-mass galaxies is very hard to find at high redshift using conventional astronomy. However, it offers a compelling and relatively inexpensive opportunity to explore galaxy formation and cosmic chemical evolution beyond known borders, from the primordial universe to the present.Comment: Review article to be published in New Journal of Physics (http://www.njp.org), Focus Issue on Gamma Ray Burst
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