18,627 research outputs found

    The role of dust in "active" and "passive" low-metallicity star formation

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    We investigate the role of dust in star formation activity of extremely metal-poor blue compact dwarf galaxies (BCDs). Observations suggest that star formation in BCDs occurs in two different regimes: "active" and "passive". The "active" BCDs host super star clusters (SSCs), and are characterised by compact size, rich H2 content, large dust optical depth, and high dust temperature; the "passive" BCDs are more diffuse with cooler dust, and lack SSCs and large amounts of H2. By treating physical processes concerning formation of stars and dust, we are able to simultaneously reproduce all the above properties of both modes of star formation (active and passive). We find that the difference between the two regimes can be understood through the variation of the "compactness" of the star-forming region: an "active" mode emerges if the region is compact (with radius \la 50 pc) and dense (with gas number density \ga 500 cm−3^{-3}). The dust, supplied from Type II supernovae in a compact star-forming region, effectively reprocesses the heating photons into the infrared and induces a rapid H2 formation over a period of several Myr. This explains the high infrared luminosity, high dust temperature, and large H2 content of active BCDs. Moreover, the gas in "active" galaxies cools (\la 300 K) on a few dynamical timescales, producing a "run-away" star formation episode because of the favourable (cool) conditions. The mild extinction and relatively low molecular content of passive BCDs can also be explained by the same model if we assume a diffuse region (with radius \ga 100 pc and gas number density \la 100 cm−3^{-3}). We finally discuss primordial star formation in high-redshift galaxies in the context of the "active" and "passive" star formation scenario.Comment: Astronomy and Astrophysics, in press, 16 pages, 8 figure

    The size--density relation of extragalactic HII regions

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    We investigate the size--density relation in extragalactic HII regions, with the aim of understanding the role of dust and different physical conditions in the ionized medium. First, we compiled several observational data sets for Galactic and extragalactic HII regions and confirm that extragalactic HII regions follow the same size (D)--density (n) relation as Galactic ones. Motivated by the inability of static models to explain this, we then modelled the evolution of the size--density relation of HII regions by considering their star formation history, the effects of dust, and pressure-driven expansion. The results are compared with our sample data whose size and density span roughly six orders of magnitude. We find that the extragalactic size--density relation does not result from an evolutionary sequence of HII regions but rather reflects a sequence with different initial gas densities (``density hierarchy''). Moreover, the size of many HII regions is limited by dust absorption of ionizing photons, rather than consumption by ionizing neutral hydrogen. Dust extinction of ionizing photons is particularly severe over the entire lifetime of compact HII regions with typical gas densities of greater than 10^3 cm^{-3}. Hence, as long as the number of ionizing photons is used to trace massive star formation, much star-formation activity could be missed. Such compact dense environments, the ones most profoundly obscured by dust, have properties similar to ``maximum--intensity starbursts''. This implies that submillimeter and infrared wavelengths may be necessary to accurately assess star formation in these extreme conditions both locally and at high redshift.Comment: 18 pages, 11 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy and Astrophysic

    Aerodynamic pressure and heating-rate distributions in tile gaps around chine regions with pressure gradients at a Mach number of 6.6

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    Surface and gap pressures and heating-rate distributions were obtained for simulated Thermal Protection System (TPS) tile arrays on the curved surface test apparatus of the Langley 8-Foot High Temperature Tunnel at Mach 6.6. The results indicated that the chine gap pressures varied inversely with gap width because larger gap widths allowed greater venting from the gap to the lower model side pressures. Lower gap pressures caused greater flow ingress from the surface and increased gap heating. Generally, gap heating was greater in the longitudinal gaps than in the circumferential gaps. Gap heating decreased with increasing gap depth. Circumferential gap heating at the mid-depth was generally less than about 10 percent of the external surface value. Gap heating was most severe at local T-gap junctions and tile-to-tile forward-facing steps that caused the greatest heating from flow impingement. The use of flow stoppers at discrete locations reduced heating from flow impingement. The use of flow stoppers at discrete locations reduced heating in most gaps but increased heating in others. Limited use of flow stoppers or gap filler in longitudinal gaps could reduce gap heating in open circumferential gaps in regions of high surface pressure gradients

    The effects of a counter-current interstitial flow on a discharging hourglass

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    This work experimentally investigates the effects of an interstitial fluid on the discharge of granular material within an hourglass. The experiments include observations of the flow patterns, measurements of the discharge rates, and pressure variations for a range of different fluid viscosities, particle densities and diameters, and hourglass geometries. The results are classified into three regimes: (i) granular flows with negligible interstitial fluid effects; (ii) flows affected by the presence of the interstitial fluid; and (iii) a no-flow region in which particles arch across the orifice and do not discharge. Within the fluid-affected region, the flows were visually classified as lubricated and air-coupled flows, oscillatory flows, channeling flows in which the flow preferentially rises along the sidewalls, and fluidized flows in which the upward flow suspends the particles. The discharge rates depends on the Archimedes number, the ratio of the effective hopper diameter to the particle diameter, and hourglass geometry. The hopper-discharge experiments, as well as experiments found in the literature, demonstrate that the presence of the interstitial fluid is important when the nondimensional ratio (N) of the single-particle terminal velocity to the hopper discharge velocity is less than 10. Flow ceased in all experiments in which the particle diameter was greater than 25% of the effective hopper diameter regardless of the interstitial fluid

    Improved Templates for Photometric Redshifts of Submm Sources

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    There is growing evidence that some star-forming galaxies at z>1 are characterized by high efficiencies and specific star formation rates. In the local universe, these traits are shared by ``active'' Blue Compact Dwarf galaxies (BCDs) with compact and dense star-forming regions. The Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) of these BCDs are dominated by young massive star clusters, embedded in a cocoon of dust. In this Letter, we incorporate these BCD SEDs as templates for two samples of high-redshift galaxy populations selected at submm wavelengths. Because of the severe absorption of the optical light, the featureless mid-infrared spectrum, and the relatively flat radio continuum, the dusty star-cluster SEDs are good approximations to most of the submm sources in our samples. In most cases, the active BCD SEDs fit the observed photometric points better than the ``standard'' templates, M 82 and Arp 220, and predict photometric redshifts significantly closer to the spectroscopic ones. Our results strongly suggest that the embedded dusty star clusters in BCD galaxies are superior to other local templates such as M 82 and Arp 220 in fitting distant submm starburst galaxies.Comment: Accepted by ApJL: 4 pages, 2 figures, 2 table

    Computational method to predict thermodynamic, transport, and flow properties for the modified Langley 8-foot high-temperature tunnel

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    The Langley 8 foot high temperature tunnel (8 ft HTT) is used to test components of hypersonic vehicles for aerothermal loads definition and structural component verification. The test medium of the 8 ft HTT is obtained by burning a mixture of methane and air under high pressure; the combustion products are expanded through an axisymmetric conical contoured nozzle to simulate atmospheric flight at Mach 7. This facility was modified to raise the oxygen content of the test medium to match that of air and to include Mach 4 and Mach 5 capabilities. These modifications will facilitate the testing of hypersonic air breathing propulsion systems for a wide range of flight conditions. A computational method to predict the thermodynamic, transport, and flow properties of the equilibrium chemically reacting oxygen enriched methane-air combustion products was implemented in a computer code. This code calculates the fuel, air, and oxygen mass flow rates and test section flow properties for Mach 7, 5, and 4 nozzle configurations for given combustor and mixer conditions. Salient features of the 8 ft HTT are described, and some of the predicted tunnel operational characteristics are presented in the carpet plots to assist users in preparing test plans

    False memory susceptibility is correlated with categorisation ability in humans.

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    Our memory is often surprisingly inaccurate, with errors ranging from misremembering minor details of events to generating illusory memories of entire episodes. The pervasiveness of such false memories generates a puzzle: in the face of selection pressure for accuracy of memory, how could such systematic failures have persisted over evolutionary time? It is possible that memory errors are an inevitable by-product of our adaptive memories and that semantic false memories are specifically connected to our ability to learn rules and concepts and to classify objects by category memberships. Here we test this possibility using a standard experimental false memory paradigm and inter-individual variation in verbal categorisation ability. Indeed it turns out that the error scores are significantly negatively correlated, with those individuals scoring fewer errors on the categorisation test being more susceptible to false memory intrusions in a free recall test. A similar trend, though not significant, was observed between individual categorisation ability and false memory susceptibility in a word recognition task. Our results therefore indicate that false memories, to some extent, might be a by-product of our ability to learn rules, categories and concepts.This work was funded as part of a PhD studentship provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NE/H525089/1)

    Musculoskeletal adaptations to physical interventions in spinal cord injury

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