53,329 research outputs found

    Probing the Low Surface Brightness Dwarf Galaxy Population of the Virgo Cluster

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    We have used public data from the Next Generation Virgo Survey (NGVS) to investigate the dwarf galaxy population of the Virgo cluster beyond what has previously been discovered. We initially mask and smooth the data, and then use the object detection algorithm Sextractor to make our initial dwarf galaxy selection. All candidates are then visually inspected to remove artefacts and duplicates. We derive Sextractor parameters to best select low surface brightness galaxies using g band central surface brightness values of 22.5 to 26.0 mag sq arc sec and exponential scale lengths of 3.0 - 10.0 arc sec to identify 443 cluster dwarf galaxies - 303 of which are new detections. These new detections have a surface density that decreases with radius from the cluster centre. We also apply our selection algorithm to 'background', non-cluster, fields and find zero detections. In combination, this leads us to believe that we have isolated a cluster dwarf galaxy population. The range of objects we are able to detect is limited because smaller scale sized galaxies are confused with the background, while larger galaxies are split into numerous smaller objects by the detection algorithm. Using data from previous surveys combined with our data, we find a faint end slope to the luminosity function of -1.35+/-0.03, which does not significantly differ to what has previously been found for the Virgo cluster, but is a little steeper than the slope for field galaxies. There is no evidence for a faint end slope steep enough to correspond with galaxy formation models, unless those models invoke either strong feedback processes or use warm dark matter.Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRA

    SINFONI's take on Star Formation, Molecular Gas, and Black Hole Masses in AGN

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    We present some preliminary (half-way) results on our adaptive optics spectroscopic survey of AGN at spatial scales down to 0.085arcsec. Most of the data were obtained with SINFONI which provides integral field capability at a spectral resolution of R~4000. The themes on which we focus in this contribution are: star formation around the AGN, the properties of the molecular gas and its relation to the torus, and the mass of the black hole.Comment: 5 pages, 2 figures. To appear in Science Perspectives for 3D Spectroscopy. ESO Astrophysics Symposia. Ed by M. Kissler-Patig, M. Roth and J. Wals

    Shifts in hexapod diversification and what Haldane could have said

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    Data on species richness and taxon age are assembled for the extant hexapod orders (insects and their six-legged relatives). Coupled with estimates of phylogenetic relatedness, and simple statistical null models, these data are used to locate where, on the hexapod tree, significant changes in the rate of cladogenesis (speciation-minus-extinction rate) have occurred. Significant differences are found between many successive pairs of sister taxa near the base of the hexapod tree, all of which are attributable to a shift in diversification rate after the origin of the Neoptera (insects with wing flexion) and before the origin of the Holometabola (insects with complete metamorphosis). No other shifts are identifiable amongst supraordinal taxa. Whilst the Coleoptera have probably diversified faster than either of their putative sister lineages, they do not stand out relative to other closely related clades. These results suggest that any Creator had a fondness for a much more inclusive clade than the Coleoptera, definitely as large as the Eumetabola (Holometabola plus bugs and their relatives), and possibly as large as the entire Neoptera. Simultaneous, hence probable causative events are discussed, of which the origin of wing flexion has been the focus of much attention

    The detection of FIR emission from high redshift star-forming galaxies in the ECDF-S

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    ABRIDGED: We have used the LABOCA Survey of the ECDF-S (LESS) to investigate rest-frame FIR emission from typical SF systems (LBGs) at redshift 3, 4, and 5. We initially concentrate on LBGs at z~3 and select three subsamples on stellar mass, extinction corrected SF and rest-frame UV-magnitude. We produce composite 870micron images of the typical source in our subsamples, obtaining ~4sigma detections and suggesting a correlation between FIR luminosity and stellar mass. We apply a similar procedure to our full samples at z~3, 4, 4.5 and 5 and do not obtain detections - consistent with a simple scaling between FIR luminosity and stellar mass. In order to constrain the FIR SED of these systems we explore their emission at multiple wavelengths spanning the peak of dust emission at z~3 using the Herschel SPIRE observations of the field. We obtain detections at multiple wavelengths for both our stellar mass and UV-magnitude selected samples, and find a best-fit SED with T_dust in the ~33-41K range. We calculate L_FIR, obscured SFRs and M_dust, and find that a significant fraction of SF in these systems is obscured. Interestingly, our extinction corrected SFR sample does not display the large FIR fluxes predicted from its red UV-spectral slope. This suggests that the method of assuming an intrinsic UV-slope and correcting for dust attenuation may be invalid for this sample - and that these are not in fact the most actively SF systems. All of our z~3 samples fall on the `main sequence' of SF galaxies at z~3 and our detected subsamples are likely to represent the high obscuration end of LBGs at their epoch. We compare the FIR properties of our subsamples with various other populations, finding that our stellar mass selected sample shows similar FIR characteristics to SMGs at the same epoch and therefore potentially represents the low L_FIR end of the high redshift FIR luminosity function.Comment: 18 pages, 10 figure, MNRAS accepted, corrected typos, acknowledgements adde

    Propagation of the First Flames in Type Ia Supernovae

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    We consider the competition of the different physical processes that can affect the evolution of a flame bubble in a Type Ia supernovae -- burning, turbulence and buoyancy. Even in the vigorously turbulent conditions of a convecting white dwarf, thermonuclear burning that begins at a point near the center (within 100 km) of the star is dominated by the spherical laminar expansion of the flame, until the burning region reaches kilometers in size. Consequently flames that ignite in the inner ~20 km promptly burn through the center, and flame bubbles anywhere must grow quite large--indeed, resolvable by large-scale simulations of the global system--for significant motion or deformation occur. As a result, any hot-spot that successfully ignites into a flame can burn a significant amount of white dwarf material. This potentially increases the stochastic nature of the explosion compared to a scenario where a simmering progenitor can have small early hot-spots float harmlessly away. Further, the size where the laminar flame speed dominates other relevant velocities sets a characteristic scale for fragmentation of larger flame structures, as nothing--by definition--can easily break the burning region into smaller volumes. This makes possible the development of semi-analytic descriptions of the earliest phase of the propagation of burning in a Type Ia supernovae, which we present here. Our analysis is supported by fully resolved numerical simulations of flame bubbles.Comment: 33 pages, 14 figures, accepted for publication in Ap

    A semantic web service-based architecture for the interoperability of e-government services

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    We propose a semantically-enhanced architecture to address the issues of interoperability and service integration in e-government web information systems. An architecture for a life event portal based on Semantic Web Services (SWS) is described. The architecture includes loosely-coupled modules organized in three distinct layers: User Interaction, Middleware and Web Services. The Middleware provides the semantic infrastructure for ontologies and SWS. In particular a conceptual model for integrating domain knowledge (Life Event Ontology), application knowledge (E-government Ontology) and service description (Service Ontology) is defined. The model has been applied to a use case scenario in e-government and the results of a system prototype have been reported to demonstrate some relevant features of the proposed approach

    Coordination of Foliar and Wood Anatomical Traits Contributes to Tropical Tree Distributions and Productivity along the Malay-Thai Peninsula

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    Drought is a critical factor in plant species distributions. Much research points to its relevance even in moist tropical regions. Recent studies have begun to elucidate mechanisms underlying the distributions of tropical tree species with respect to drought; however, how such desiccation tolerance mechanisms correspond with the coordination of hydraulic and photosynthetic traits in determining species distributions with respect to rainfall seasonality deserves attention. In the present study, we used a common garden approach to quantify inherent differences in wood anatomical and foliar physiological traits in 21 tropical tree species with either widespread (occupying both seasonal and aseasonal climates) or southern (restricted to aseasonal forests) distributions with respect to rainfall seasonality. Use of congeneric species pairs and phylogenetically independent contrast analyses allowed examination of this question in a phylogenetic framework. Widespread species opted for wood traits that provide biomechanical support and prevent xylem cavitation and showed associated reductions in canopy productivity and consequently growth rates compared with southern species. These data support the hypothesis that species having broader distributions with respect to climatic variability will be characterized by traits conducive to abiotic stress tolerance. This study highlights the importance of the well-established performance vs. stress tolerance trade-off as a contributor to species distributions at larger scales

    Identifying clustering at high redshift through actively star-forming galaxies

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    Identifying galaxy clustering at high redshift (i.e. z > 1) is essential to our understanding of the current cosmological model. However, at increasing redshift, clusters evolve considerably in star-formation activity and so are less likely to be identified using the widely-used red sequence method. Here we assess the viability of instead identifying high redshift clustering using actively star-forming galaxies (SMGs associated with over-densities of BzKs/LBGs). We perform both a 2- and 3-D clustering analysis to determine whether or not true (3D) clustering can be identified where only 2D data are available. As expected, we find that 2D clustering signals are weak at best and inferred results are method dependant. In our 3D analysis, we identify 12 SMGs associated with an over-density of galaxies coincident both spatially and in redshift - just 8% of SMGs with known redshifts in our sample. Where an SMG in our target fields lacks a known redshift, their sightline is no more likely to display clustering than blank sky fields; prior redshift information for the SMG is required to identify a true clustering signal. We find that the strength of clustering in the volume around typical SMGs, while identifiable, is not exceptional. However, we identify a small number of highly clustered regions, all associated with an SMG. The most notable of these, surrounding LESSJ033336.8-274401, potentially contains an SMG, a QSO and 36 star-forming galaxies (a > 20sig over-density) all at z~1.8. This region is highly likely to represent an actively star-forming cluster and illustrates the success of using star-forming galaxies to select sites of early clustering. Given the increasing number of deep fields with large volumes of spectroscopy, or high quality and reliable photometric redshifts, this opens a new avenue for cluster identification in the young Universe.Comment: 24 pages, 14 figures, accepted MNRA

    The life cycle of starbursting circumnuclear gas discs

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    High-resolution observations from the sub-mm to the optical wavelength regime resolve the central few 100pc region of nearby galaxies in great detail. They reveal a large diversity of features: thick gas and stellar discs, nuclear starbursts, in- and outflows, central activity, jet interaction, etc. Concentrating on the role circumnuclear discs play in the life cycles of galactic nuclei, we employ 3D adaptive mesh refinement hydrodynamical simulations with the RAMSES code to self-consistently trace the evolution from a quasi-stable gas disc, undergoing gravitational (Toomre) instability, the formation of clumps and stars and the disc's subsequent, partial dispersal via stellar feedback. Our approach builds upon the observational finding that many nearby Seyfert galaxies have undergone intense nuclear starbursts in their recent past and in many nearby sources star formation is concentrated in a handful of clumps on a few 100pc distant from the galactic centre. We show that such observations can be understood as the result of gravitational instabilities in dense circumnuclear discs. By comparing these simulations to available integral field unit observations of a sample of nearby galactic nuclei, we find consistent gas and stellar masses, kinematics, star formation and outflow properties. Important ingredients in the simulations are the self-consistent treatment of star formation and the dynamical evolution of the stellar distribution as well as the modelling of a delay time distribution for the supernova feedback. The knowledge of the resulting simulated density structure and kinematics on pc scale is vital for understanding inflow and feedback processes towards galactic scales.Comment: accepted by MNRA
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