4,146 research outputs found

    CTK - A new CCD Camera at the University Observatory Jena

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    The Cassegrain-Teleskop-Kamera (CTK) is a new CCD imager which is operated at the University Observatory Jena since begin of 2006. This article describes the main characteristics of the new camera. The properties of the CCD detector, the CTK image quality, as well as its detection limits for all filters are presented.Comment: AN accepted, 6 pages, 15 figures, 2 table

    STK: A new CCD camera at the University Observatory Jena

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    The Schmidt-Teleskop-Kamera (STK) is a new CCD-imager, which is operated since begin of 2009 at the University Observatory Jena. This article describes the main characteristics of the new camera. The properties of the STK detector, the astrometry and image quality of the STK, as well as its detection limits at the 0.9m telescope of the University Observatory Jena are presented.Comment: AN accepted, 8 pages, 12 figures, 3 table

    Two New and Remarkable Sightlines through the Galactic Center's Molecular Gas

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    Until now the known sources in the Galactic center with sufficiently smooth spectra and of sufficient brightness to be suitable for high resolution infrared absorption spectroscopy of interstellar gas occupied a narrow range of longitudes, from the central cluster of hot stars to approximately 30 pc east of the center. In order to more fully characterize the gas within the r ~ 180 pc central molecular zone it is necessary to find additional such sources that cover a much wider longitudinal range. We are in the process of identifying luminous dust-embedded objects suitable for spectroscopy within 1.2 deg in longitude and 0.1 deg in latitude of Sgr A* using the Spitzer GLIMPSE and the 2MASS catalogues. Here we present spectra of H3+ and CO towards two such objects, one located 140 pc west of Sgr A*, and the other located on a line of sight to the Sgr B molecular cloud complex 85 pc to the east of Sgr A*. The sightline to the west passes through two dense clouds of unusually high negative velocities and also appears to sample a portion of the expanding molecular ring. The spectra toward Sgr B reveal at least ten absorption components covering over 200 km/s and by far the largest equivalent width ever observed in an interstellar H3+line; they appear to provide the first near-infrared view into that hotbed of star formation.Comment: 13 pages, incl. 4 figures - accepted by ApJ Letters Dec 14, 2009; minor typos correcte

    The 1998 November 14 Occultation of GSC 0622-00345 by Saturn. I. Techniques for Ground-Based Stellar Occultations

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    On 1998 November 14, Saturn and its rings occulted the star GSC 0622-00345. We observed atmospheric immersion with NSFCAM at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Infrared Telescope Facility on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Immersion occurred at 55.5\circ S planetocentric latitude. A 2.3 {\mu}m, methane-band filter suppressed reflected sunlight. Atmospheric emersion and ring data were not successfully obtained. We describe our observation, light-curve production, and timing techniques, including improvements in aperture positioning, removal of telluric scintillation effects, and timing. Many of these techniques are known within the occultation community, but have not been described in the reviewed literature. We present a light curve whose signal-to-noise ratio per scale height is 267, among the best ground-based signals yet achieved, despite a disadvantage of up to 8 mag in the stellar flux compared to prior work.Comment: LaTeX/emulateapj, 6 pages, 3 figures. Online items: The FITS-format light curve and the IDL code for the timing model are available from ApJ or the lead autho

    Near-Infrared Photometric Variability of Stars Toward the Orion A Molecular Cloud

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    We present an analysis of J, H, and K time series photometry obtained with the southern 2MASS telescope over a 0.84 x 6 deg^2 region centered near the Orion Nebula Cluster. These data are used to establish the near-infrared variability properties of pre-main-sequence stars in Orion on time scales of 1-36 days, 2 months, and 2 years. A total of 1235 variable stars are identified, ~93% of which are associated with the Orion A molecular cloud. The variable stars exhibit a diversity of photometric behavior with time, including cyclic fluctuations, aperiodic day-to-day fluctuations, eclipses, slow drifts in brightness over one month, colorless variability, stars that become redder as they fade, and stars that become bluer as they fade. We examine rotational modulation of cool and hot star spots, variable obscuration from an inner circumstellar disk, and changes in the mass accretion rate and other properties in a circumstellar disk as possible origins of the variability. Cool spots can explain the variability characteristics in 56-77% of the stars, while the properties of the photometric fluctuations are more consistent with hot spots or extinction changes in at least 23% of the stars, and with variations in the disk mass accretion rate or inner disk radius in 1% of our sample. However, differences between the details of the observations and the details of variability predicted these models suggest either that another variability mechanism not considered here may be operative, or that the observed variability represents the net results of several of these phenomena. Analysis of the star count data indicates that the ONC is part of a larger area of enhanced stellar surface density which extends over a 0.4 x 2.4 deg^2 (3.4 x 20 pc^2) region containing 2700 stars brighter than K=14. (abridged version)Comment: 75 pages with 27 figures; to appear in AJ; see also http://www.astro.caltech.edu/~jmc/variables/orio

    Periodic Photometric Variability in the Becklin-Neugebauer Object

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    The Becklin-Neugebauer (BN) object in the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) is a well-studied optically invisible, infrared-bright young stellar object, thought to be an intermediate-mass protostar. We report here that BN exhibited nearly-sinusoidal periodic variability at the near-infrared H- and Ks-bands during a one month observing campaign in 2000 March/April. The period was 8.28 days and the peak-to-peak amplitude ~0.2 mag. Plausible mechanisms for producing the observed variability characteristics are explored.Comment: Accepted by ApJ Letter

    Follow-up observations of Comet 17P/Holmes after its extreme outburst in brightness end of October 2007

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    We present follow-up observations of comet 17/P Holmes after its extreme outburst in brightness, which occurred end of October 2007. We obtained 58 V-band images of the comet between October 2007 and February 2008, using the Cassegrain-Teleskop-Kamera (CTK) at the University Observatory Jena. We present precise astrometry of the comet, which yields its most recent Keplerian orbital elements. Furthermore, we show that the comet's coma expands quite linearly with a velocity of about 1650km/s between October and December 2007. The photometric monitoring of comet 17/P Holmes shows that its photometric activity level decreased by about 5.9mag within 105 days after its outburst.Comment: AN accepted, 6 pages, 4 figures, 5 tabl

    Chandra and Swift Follow-up Observations of the Intermediate Mass Black Hole in ESO243-49

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    The brightest Ultra-Luminous X-ray source HLX-1 in the galaxy ESO 243-49 provides strong evidence for the existence of intermediate mass black holes. As the luminosity and thus the mass estimate depend on the association of HLX-1 with ESO 243-49, it is essential to confirm its affiliation. This requires follow-up investigations at wavelengths other than X-rays, which in-turn needs an improved source position. To further reinforce the intermediate mass black hole identification, it is necessary to determine HLX-1's environment to establish whether it could potentially form and nourish a black hole at the luminosities observed. Using the High Resolution Camera onboard Chandra, we determine a source position of RA=01h10m28.3s and Dec=-46d04'22.3". A conservative 95% error of 0.3" was found following a boresight correction by cross-matching the positions of 3 X-ray sources in the field with the 2MASS catalog. Combining all Swift UV/Optical Telescope uvw2 images, we failed to detect a UV source at the Chandra position down to a 3sigma limiting magnitude of 20.25 mag. However, there is evidence that the UV emission is elongated in the direction of HLX-1. This is supported by archival data from GALEX and suggests that the far-UV emission is stronger than the near-UV. This could imply that HLX-1 may be situated near the edge of a star forming region. Using the latest X-ray observations we deduce the mass accretion rate of a 500 Msun black hole with the observed luminosity and show that this is compatible with such an environment.Comment: 10 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in ApJL on 12/02/201

    Direct Detection of an Ultraluminous Ultraviolet Source

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    We present Hubble Space Telescope observations in the far UV of the ultraluminous X-ray source in NGC 6946 associated with the optical nebula MF 16. Both a point-like source coincident with the X-ray source and the surrounding nebula are detected in the FUV. The point source has a flux of 5E-16 erg s^-1 cm^-2 Ang^-1 and the nebula has a flux of 1.6E-15 erg s^-1 cm^-2 Ang^-1, quoted at 1533 Ang and assuming an extinction of A_V = 1.54. Thus, MF 16 appears to host the first directly detected ultraluminous UV source (ULUV). The flux of the point-like source is consistent with a blackbody with T ~ 30,000 K, possibly from a massive companion star, but this spectrum does not create sufficient ionizing radiation to produce the nebular HeII flux and a second, hotter emission component would be required. A multicolor disk blackbody spectrum truncated with an outer disk temperature of ~16,000 K provides an adequate fit to the FUV, B, V, I, and HeII fluxes and can produce the needed ionizing radiation. Additional observations are required to determine the physical nature of the source.Comment: 4 pages, accepted for ApJ Letter
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