1,967 research outputs found

    On How to Extend the NIR Tully-Fisher Relation to be Truly All-Sky

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    Dust extinction and stellar confusion by the Milky Way reduce the efficiency of detecting galaxies at low Galactic latitudes, creating the so-called Zone of Avoidance. This stands as a stumbling block in charting the distribution of galaxies and cosmic flow fields, and therewith our understanding of the local dynamics in the Universe (CMB dipole, convergence radius of bulk flows). For instance, ZoA galaxies are generally excluded from the whole-sky Tully-Fisher Surveys (∣b∣≤5∘|b| \leq 5^\circ) even if catalogued. We show here that by fine-tuning the near-infrared TF relation, there is no reason not to extend peculiar velocity surveys deeper into the ZoA. Accurate axial ratios (b/ab/a) are crucial to both the TF sample selection and the resulting TF distances. We simulate the effect of dust extinction on the geometrical properties of galaxies. As expected, galaxies appear rounder with increasing obscuration level, even affecting existing TF samples. We derive correction models and demonstrate that we can reliably reproduce the intrinsic axial ratio from the observed value up to extinction level of about AJ≃3A_J\simeq3 mag (AV∼11A_V\sim11 mag), we also recover a fair fraction of galaxies that otherwise would fall out of an uncorrected inclination limited galaxy sample. We present a re-calibration of the 2MTF relation in the NIR JJ, HH, and KsK_s-bands for isophotal rather than total magnitudes, using their same calibration sample. Both TF relations exhibit similar scatter at high Galactic latitudes. However, the isophotal TF relation results in a significant improvement in the scatter for galaxies in the ZoA, and low surface brightness galaxies in general, because isophotal apertures are more robust in the face of significant stellar confusion.Comment: 12 pages, 10 figures, 4 tables, accepted for publication in MNRA

    Galaxy peculiar velocities in the Zone of Avoidance

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    Dust extinction and stellar confusion of the Milky Way hinder the detection of galaxies at low Galactic latitude, creating the so-called Zone of Avoidance (ZoA). This has hampered our understanding of the local dynamics, cosmic flow fields and the origin of the Cosmic Microwave Background dipole. The ZoA (∣b∣≤5∘|b| \le 5^\circ) is also excluded from the "whole-sky" Two Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) Redshift Survey (2MRS) and 2MASS Tully-Fisher Survey (2MTF). The latter aims to provide distances and peculiar velocities for all bright inclined 2MASS galaxies with KsoK_s^o \leq 11\hbox{.\!\!^{\rm m}}25. Correspondingly, knowledge about the density distribution in the ZoA remains limited to statistical interpolations. To improve on this bias we pursued two different surveys to fill in the southern and northern ZoA. These data will allow a direct measurement of galaxy peculiar velocities. In this paper we will present a newly derived optimized Tully-Fisher (TF) relation that allow accurate measures of galaxy distances and peculiar velocities for dust-obscured galaxies. We discuss further corrections for magnitudes and biases and present some preliminary results on flow fields in the southern ZoA.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, to appear in Proceedings of SAIP2013, the 58th Annual Conference of the South African Institute of Physics, edited by Roelf Botha and Thulani Jili (SAIP and University of Zululand, 2014). ISBN: 978-0-620-62819-

    Large-scale variations of the dust optical properties in the Galaxy

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    We present an analysis of the dust optical properties at large scale, for the whole galactic anticenter hemisphere. We used the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog to obtain the total reddening on each galaxy line of sight and we compared this value to the IRAS 100 microns surface brightness converted to extinction by Schlegel et al (1998). We performed a careful examination and correction of the possible systematic effects resulting from foreground star contamination, redshift contribution and galaxy selection bias. We also evaluated the contribution of dust temperature variations and interstellar clumpiness to our method. The correlation of the near-infrared extinction to the far-infrared optical depth shows a discrepancy for visual extinction greater than 1 mag with a ratio A_V(FIR) / A_V(gal) = 1.31 +- 0.06. We attribute this result to the presence of fluffy/composite grains characterized by an enhanced far--infrared emissivity. Our analysis, applied to half of the sky, provides new insights on the dust grains nature suggesting fluffy grains are found not only in some very specific regions but in all directions for which the visual extinction reaches about 1 mag.Comment: 10 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in A&

    Recalibrating the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) W4 Filter

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    We present a revised effective wavelength and photometric calibration for the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) W4 band, including tests of empirically motivated modifications to its pre-launch laboratory-measured relative system response curve. We derived these by comparing measured W4 photometry with photometry synthesised from spectra of galaxies and planetary nebulae. The difference between measured and synthesised photometry using the pre-launch laboratory-measured W4 relative system response can be as large as 0.3 mag for galaxies and 1 mag for planetary nebulae. We find the W4 effective wavelength should be revised upward by 3.3%, from 22.1 micron to 22.8 micron, and the W4 AB magnitude of Vega should be revised from m = 6.59 to m = 6.66. In an attempt to reproduce the observed W4 photometry, we tested three modifications to the pre-launch laboratory-measured W4 relative system response curve, all of which have an effective wavelength of 22.8 micron. Of the three relative system response curve models tested, a model that matches the laboratory-measured relative system response curve, but has the wavelengths increased by 3.3% (or 0.73 micron) achieves reasonable agreement between the measured and synthesised photometry.Comment: Accepted for publication in Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 6 pages, 4 figures, 1 tabl

    HI observations of the nearest starburst galaxy NGC 253 with the SKA precursor KAT-7

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    We present HI observations of the Sculptor Group starburst spiral galaxy NGC 253, obtained with the Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7). KAT-7 is a pathfinder for the SKA precursor MeerKAT, under construction. The short baselines and low system temperature of the telescope make it very sensitive to large scale, low surface brightness emission. The KAT-7 observations detected 33% more flux than previous VLA observations, mainly in the outer parts and in the halo for a total HI mass of 2.1±0.12.1 \pm 0.1 ×109\times 10^{9} M⊙_{\odot}. HI can be found at large distances perpendicular to the plane out to projected distances of ~9-10 kpc away from the nucleus and ~13-14 kpc at the edge of the disk. A novel technique, based on interactive profile fitting, was used to separate the main disk gas from the anomalous (halo) gas. The rotation curve (RC) derived for the HI disk confirms that it is declining in the outer parts, as seen in previous optical Fabry-Perot measurements. As for the anomalous component, its RC has a very shallow gradient in the inner parts and turns over at the same radius as the disk, kinematically lagging by ~100 km/sec. The kinematics of the observed extra planar gas is compatible with an outflow due to the central starburst and galactic fountains in the outer parts. However, the gas kinematics shows no evidence for inflow. Analysis of the near-IR WISE data, shows clearly that the star formation rate (SFR) is compatible with the starburst nature of NGC 253.Comment: 18 pages, 20 figures, 8 Tables. Accepted for publication to MNRA

    The 2MASS Tully-Fisher Survey : Mapping the Mass in the Universe

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    The 2MASS Tully-Fisher Survey (2MTF) aims to measure Tully-Fisher (TF) distances for all bright inclined spirals in the 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS) using high quality HI widths and 2MASS photometry. Compared with previous peculiar velocity surveys, the 2MTF survey provides more accurate width measurements and more uniform sky coverage, combining observations with the Green Bank, Arecibo and Parkes telescopes. With this new redshift-independent distance database, we will significantly improve our understanding of the mass distribution in the local universe.Comment: 4 pages, 3 figures, IAU Symposium 289 proceedin
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