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News Article | November 21, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

An international team led by researchers from Tohoku University has found an extremely faint dwarf satellite galaxy of the Milky Way. The team's discovery is part of the ongoing Subaru Strategic Survey using Hyper Suprime-Cam. The satellite, named Virgo I, lies in the direction of the constellation Virgo. At the absolute magnitude of -0.8 in the optical waveband, it may well be the faintest satellite galaxy yet found. Its discovery suggests the presence of a large number of yet-undetected dwarf satellites in the halo of the Milky Way and provides important insights into galaxy formation through hierarchical assembly of dark matter. Currently, some 50 satellite galaxies to the Milky Way have been identified. About 40 of them are faint and diffuse and belong to the category of so-called "dwarf spheroidal galaxies". Many recently discovered dwarf galaxies, especially those seen in systematic photometric surveys such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Dark Energy Survey (DES) are very faint with absolute luminosity in the optical waveband below -8 magnitude. These are so-called "ultra-faint dwarf galaxies". However, previous searches made use of telescopes with a diameter of 2.5 to 4 meters, so only satellites relatively close to the Sun or those with higher magnitudes were identified. Those that are more distant or faint ones in the halo of the Milky Way are yet to be detected. The combination of the large aperture of 8.2-meter Subaru Telescope and the large field-of-view Hyper Suprime-Cam (HSC) instrument is very powerful in this study. It enables an efficient search for very faint dwarf satellites over large areas of the sky. The first step in searching out a new dwarf galaxy is to identify an over density of stars in the sky, using photometric data. Next is to assess that the over dense appearance is not due to line-of-sight or accidental juxtapositions of unrelated dense fields, but is really a stellar system. The standard method for doing this is to look for a characteristic distribution of stars in the color-magnitude diagram (comparable to the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram). Stars in a general field shows no particular patterns in this diagram. Daisuke Homma, a graduate student at Tohoku University, found Virgo I under the guidance of his advisor, Masashi Chiba, and their international collaborators. "We have carefully examined the early data of the Subaru Strategic Survey with HSC and found an apparent over density of stars in Virgo with very high statistical significance, showing a characteristic pattern of an ancient stellar system in the color-magnitude diagram," he said. "Surprisingly, this is one of the faintest satellites, with absolute magnitude of -0.8 in the optical waveband. This is indeed a galaxy, because it is spatially extended with a radius of 124 light years - systematically larger than a globular cluster with comparable luminosity." The faintest dwarf satellites identified so far was Segue I, discovered by SDSS (-1.5 mag) and Cetus II in DES (0.0 mag). Cetus II is yet to be confirmed, as it is too compact as a galaxy. Virgo I may ultimately turn out to be the faintest one ever discovered. It lies at a distance of 280,000 light years from the Sun, and such a remote galaxy with faint brightness has not been identified in previous surveys. It is beyond the reach of SDSS, which has previously surveyed the same area in the direction of the constellation Virgo. According to Chiba, the leader of this search project, the discovery has profound implications. "This discovery implies hundreds of faint dwarf satellites waiting to be discovered in the halo of the Milky Way," he said. "How many satellites are indeed there and what properties they have, will give us an important clue of understanding how the Milky Way formed and how dark matter contributed to it." Formation of galaxies like the Milky Way is thought to proceed through the hierarchical assembly of dark matter, forming dark halos, and through the subsequent infall of gas and star formation affected by gravity. Standard models of galaxy formation in the context of the so-called cold dark matter (CDM) theory predict the presence of hundreds of small dark halos orbiting in a Milky Way-sized dark halo and a comparable number of luminous satellite companions. However, only tens of satellites have ever been identified. This falls well short of a theoretical predicted number, which is part of the so-called "missing satellite problem". Astronomers may need to consider other types of dark matter than CDM or to invoke baryonic physics suppressing galaxy formation to explain the shortfall in the number of satellites. Another possibility is that they have seen only a fraction of all the satellites associated with the Milky Way due to various observational biases. The issue remains unsolved. One of the motivations for the Subaru Strategic Survey using HSC is to do increase observations in the search for Milky Way satellites. The early data from this survey is what led to the discovery of Virgo I. This program will continue to explore much wider areas of the sky and is expected to find more satellites like Virgo I. These tiny companions to be discovered in the near future may tell us much more about history of the Milky Way's formation. Daisuke Homma (Tohoku University, Japan), Masashi Chiba (Tohoku University, Japan), Sakurako Okamoto (Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, China), Yutaka Komiyama (National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Japan), Masayuki Tanaka (NAOJ, Japan), Mikito Tanaka (Tohoku University, Japan), Miho N. Ishigaki (Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe (Kavli IPMU, WPI), University of Tokyo, Japan), Masayuki Akiyama (Tohoku University, Japan), Nobuo Arimoto (Subaru Telescope, NAOJ, USA), Jose A, Garmilla (Princeton University, USA), Robert H. Lupton (Princeton University, USA), Michael A. Strauss (Princeton University, USA), Hisanori Furusawa (NAOJ, Japan), Satoshi Miyazaki (NAOJ, Japan), Hitoshi Murayama (Kavli IPMU, WPI, University of Tokyo, Japan), Atsushi J. Nishizawa (Nagoya University, Japan), Masahiro Takada (Kavli IPMU, WPI, University of Tokyo, Japan), Tomonori Usuda (NAOJ, Japan), Shiang-Yu Wang (Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan) Leo II: An Old Dwarf Galaxy with Juvenescent Heart http://subarutelescope.


Basilakos S.,Academy of Athens | Basilakos S.,University of Barcelona | Plionis M.,Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics | Plionis M.,National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

We derive an exact analytical solution for the redshift evolution of linear and scale-independent bias, by solving a second-order differential equation based on linear perturbation theory. This bias evolution model is applicable to all different types of dark energy and modified gravity models. We propose that the combination of the current bias evolution model with data on the bias of extragalactic mass tracers could provide an efficient way to discriminate between geometrical dark energy models and dark energy models that adhere to general relativity. © 2011 American Physical Society.


Koch P.M.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Tang Y.-W.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Ho P.T.P.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Ho P.T.P.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | And 18 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2014

Submillimeter dust polarization measurements of a sample of 50 star-forming regions, observed with the Submillimeter Array (SMA) and the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) covering parsec-scale clouds to milliparsec-scale cores, are analyzed in order to quantify the magnetic field importance. The magnetic field misalignment δ - the local angle between magnetic field and dust emission gradient - is found to be a prime observable, revealing distinct distributions for sources where the magnetic field is preferentially aligned with or perpendicular to the source minor axis. Source-averaged misalignment angles 〈|δ|〉 fall into systematically different ranges, reflecting the different source-magnetic field configurations. Possible bimodal 〈|δ|〉 distributions are found for the separate SMA and CSO samples. Combining both samples broadens the distribution with a wide maximum peak at small 〈|δ|〉 values. Assuming the 50 sources to be representative, the prevailing source-magnetic field configuration is one that statistically prefers small magnetic field misalignments |δ|. When interpreting |δ| together with a magnetohydrodynamics force equation, as developed in the framework of the polarization-intensity gradient method, a sample-based log-linear scaling fits the magnetic field tension-to-gravity force ratio 〈ΣB〉 versus 〈|δ|〉 with 〈ΣB〉 = 0.116 • exp(0.047 • 〈|δ|〉) ± 0.20 (mean error), providing a way to estimate the relative importance of the magnetic field, only based on measurable field misalignments |δ|. The force ratio ΣB discriminates systems that are collapsible on average (〈ΣB〉 < 1) from other molecular clouds where the magnetic field still provides enough resistance against gravitational collapse (〈ΣB〉 > 1). The sample-wide trend shows a transition around 〈|δ|〉 ≈ 45°. Defining an effective gravitational force ∼1 - 〈ΣB〉, the average magnetic-field-reduced star formation efficiency is at least a factor of two smaller than the free-fall efficiency. For about one fourth of the sources the average efficiency drops to zero. The force ratio ΣB can further be linked to the normalized mass-to-flux ratio, yielding an estimate for the latter one without the need of field strength measurements. Across the sample, a transition from magnetically supercritical to subcritcal is observed with growing misalignment 〈|δ|〉. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Bisbas T.G.,University College London | Bisbas T.G.,Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics | Bisbas T.G.,University of Florida | Haworth T.J.,University of Cambridge | And 22 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2015

STARBENCH is a project focused on benchmarking and validating different star formation and stellar feedback codes. In this first STARBENCH paper we perform a comparison study of the D-type expansion of an HII region. The aim of this work is to understand the differences observed between the 12 participating numerical codes against the various analytical expressions examining the D-type phase of HII region expansion. To do this, we propose two well-defined tests which are tackled by 1D and 3D grid- and smoothed particle hydrodynamics-based codes. The first test examines the 'early phase' D-type scenario during which the mechanical pressure driving the expansion is significantly larger than the thermal pressure of the neutral medium. The second test examines the 'late phase' D-type scenario during which the system relaxes to pressure equilibrium with the external medium. Although they are mutually in excellent agreement, all 12 participating codes follow a modified expansion law that deviates significantly from the classical Spitzer solution in both scenarios. We present a semi-empirical formula combining the two different solutions appropriate to both early and late phases that agrees with high-resolution simulations to ≲ 2 per cent. This formula provides a much better benchmark solution for code validation than the Spitzer solution. The present comparison has validated the participating codes and through this project we provide a data set for calibrating the treatment of ionizing radiation hydrodynamics codes. © 2015 The Authors.


PubMed | SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Urbana University, University of Maryland University College, Boston University and 4 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Nature | Year: 2014

Magnetic fields in accretion disks play a dominant part during the star formation process but have hitherto been observationally poorly constrained. Field strengths have been inferred on T Tauri stars and possibly in the innermost part of their accretion disks, but the strength and morphology of the field in the bulk of a disk have not been observed. Spatially unresolved measurements of polarized emission (arising from elongated dust grains aligned perpendicularly to the field) imply average fields aligned with the disks. Theoretically, the fields are expected to be largely toroidal, poloidal or a mixture of the two, which imply different mechanisms for transporting angular momentum in the disks of actively accreting young stars such as HL Tau (ref. 11). Here we report resolved measurements of the polarized 1.25-millimetre continuum emission from the disk of HL Tau. The magnetic field on a scale of 80astronomical units is coincident with the major axis (about 210 astronomical units long) of the disk. From this we conclude that the magnetic field inside the disk at this scale cannot be dominated by a vertical component, though a purely toroidal field also does not fit the data well. The unexpected morphology suggests that the role of the magnetic field in the accretion of a T Tauri star is more complex than our current theoretical understanding.


Rao R.,Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics | Girart J.M.,Institute Of Ciencies Of Lespai Csic Ieec | Lai S.-P.,National Tsing Hua University | Lai S.-P.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Marrone D.P.,University of Arizona
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2014

We present subarcsecond resolution polarimetric observations of the 878 μm thermal dust continuum emission obtained with the Submillimeter Array toward the IRAS 16293-2422 protostellar binary system. We report the detection of linearly polarized dust emission arising from the circumstellar disk associated with the IRAS 16293-2422 B protostar. The fractional polarization of ≃ 1.4% is only slightly lower than that expected from theoretical calculations in such disks. The magnetic field structure on the plane of the sky derived from the dust polarization suggests a complex magnetic field geometry in the disk, possibly associated with a rotating disk that is wrapping the field lines as expected from the simulations. The polarization around IRAS 16293-2422 A at subarcsecond angular resolution is only marginally detected. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Basilakos S.,Academy of Athens | Basilakos S.,Universtitat Of Barcelona | Dent J.B.,Arizona State University | Dutta S.,Vanderbilt University | And 3 more authors.
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

We investigate the cosmic evolution of the linear bias in the framework of a flat Friedmann-Lemaître-Robertson-Walker spacetime. We consider metric perturbations in the Newtonian gauge, including Hubble scale effects. Making the following assumptions, (i) scale-independent current epoch bias b 0, (ii) equal accelerations between tracers and matter, (iii) unimportant halo merging effects (which is quite accurate for z<3), we analytically derive the scale-dependent bias evolution. The identified scale dependence is only due to Hubble scale evolution general relativity effects, while other scale dependence contributions are ignored. We find that up to galaxy cluster scales the fluctuations of the metric do not introduce a significant scale dependence in the linear bias. Our bias evolution model is then used to derive a connection between the matter growth index γ and the observable value of the tracer power spectrum normalization σ 8(z). We show how this connection can be used as an observational test of general relativity on extragalactic scales. © 2012 American Physical Society.


Girart J.M.,Institute Of Ciencies Of Lespai | Estalella R.,University of Barcelona | Palau A.,Institute Of Ciencies Of Lespai | Torrelles J.M.,Institute Of Ciencies Of Lespai | And 2 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2014

We present CO 3-2, SiO 8-7, C34S 7-6, and 878 μm dust continuum subarcsecond angular resolution observations with the Submillimeter Array (SMA) toward the IRAS 16293-2422 (I16293) multiple low-mass protostellar system. The C34S emission traces the 878 μm dust continuum well, and in addition clearly shows a smooth velocity gradient along the major axis of component I16293A. CO shows emission at moderate high velocities arising from two bipolar outflows, which appear to be perpendicular with respect to each other. The high sensitivity and higher angular resolution of these observations allows us to pinpoint well the origin of these two outflows at the center of component I16293A. Interestingly, the most compact outflow appears to point toward I16293B. Our data show that the previously reported monopolar blueshifted CO outflow associated with component I16293B seems to be part of the compact outflow arising from component I16293A. In addition, the SiO emission is also tracing this compact outflow: on the one hand, the SiO emission appears to have a jet-like morphology along the southern redshifted lobe; on the other hand, the SiO emission associated with the blueshifted northern lobe traces a well-defined arc on the border of component I16293B facing I16293A. The blueshifted CO lobe of the compact outflow splits into two lobes around the position of this SiO arc. All these results lead us to propose that the compact outflow from component I16293A is impacting on the circumstellar gas around component I16293B, possibly being diverged as a consequence of the interaction. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Alves F.O.,Institute Of Ciencies Of Lespai Ieec Csic | Girart J.M.,Institute Of Ciencies Of Lespai Ieec Csic | Lai S.-P.,National Tsing Hua University | Rao R.,Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics | Zhang Q.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2011

We used the Submillimeter Array to observe the thermal polarized dust emission from the protostellar source NGC 2024 FIR 5. The polarized emission outlines a partial hourglass morphology for the plane-of-sky component of the core magnetic field. Our data are consistent with previous BIMA maps, and the overall magnetic field geometries obtained with both instruments are similar.We resolve the main core into two components, FIR 5A and FIR 5B. A possible explanation for the asymmetrical field lies in depolarization effects due to the lack of internal heating from the FIR 5B source, which may be in a prestellar evolutionary state. The field strength was estimated to be 2.2 mG, in agreement with previous BIMA data. We discuss the influence of a nearby Hii region over the field lines at scales of ∼0.01 pc. Although the hot component is probably compressing the molecular gas where the dust core is embedded, it is unlikely that the radiation pressure exceeds the magnetic tension. Finally, a complex outflow morphology is observed in CO (3→2) maps. Unlike previous maps, several features associated with dust condensations other than FIR 5 are detected. © 2011 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.


Frau P.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | Girart J.M.,Institute Of Ciencies Of Lespai | Zhang Q.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Rao R.,Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2014

Context. NGC 7538 IRS 1-3 is a high-mass star-forming cluster with several detected dust cores, infrared sources, (ultra)compact HII regions, molecular outflows, and masers. In such a complex environment, interactions and feedback among the embedded objects are expected to play a major role in the evolution of the region. Aims. We study the dust, kinematic, and polarimetric properties of the NGC 7538 IRS 1-3 region to investigate the role of the different forces in the formation and evolution of high-mass star-forming clusters. Methods. We performed SMA high angular resolution observations at 880 μm with the compact configuration. We developed the RATPACKS code to generate synthetic velocity cubes from models of choice to be compared to the observational data. To quantify the stability against gravitational collapse we developed the "mass balance" analysis that accounts for all the energetics on core scales. Results. We detect 14 dust cores from 3.5 M to 37 M arranged in two larger scale structures: a central bar and a filamentary spiral arm. The spiral arm presents large-scale velocity gradients in H13CO+ 4-3 and C17O 3-2, and magnetic field segments aligned well to the dust main axis. The velocity gradient is reproduced well by a spiral arm expanding at 9 km s-1 with respect to the central core MM1, which is known to power a large precessing outflow. The energy of the outflow is comparable to the spiral-arm kinetic energy, which dominates gravitational and magnetic energies. In addition, the dynamical ages of the outflow and spiral arm are comparable. On core scales, those embedded in the central bar seem to be unstable against gravitational collapse and prone to forming high-mass stars, while those in the spiral arm have lower masses that seem to be supported by non-thermal motions and magnetic fields. Conclusions. The NGC 7538 IRS 1-3 cluster seems to be dominated by protostellar feedback. The dusty spiral arm appears to be formed in a snowplow fashion owing to the outflow from the MM1 core. We speculate that the external pressure from the redshifted lobe of the outflow could trigger star formation in the spiral arm cores. This scenario would form a small cluster with a few central high-mass stars, surrounded by a number of low-mass stars formed through protostellar feedback. © ESO, 2014.

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