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Lelli F.,Case Western Reserve University | Duc P.-A.,University Paris Diderot | Brinks E.,University of Hertfordshire | Bournaud F.,University Paris Diderot | And 10 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2015

Tidal dwarf galaxies (TDGs) are recycled objects that form within the collisional debris of interacting and merging galaxies. They are expected to be devoid of non-baryonic dark matter, since they can only form from dissipative material ejected from the discs of the progenitor galaxies. We investigate the gas dynamics in a sample of six bona fide TDGs around three interacting and post-interacting systems: NGC 4694, NGC 5291, and NGC 7252 ("Atoms for Peace"). For NGC 4694 and NGC 5291, we analyse existing HI data from the Very Large Array (VLA),while for NGC 7252 we present new HI observations from the Jansky VLA, together with long-slit and integral-field optical spectroscopy. For all six TDGs, the HI emission can be described by rotating disc models. These HI discs, however, have undergone less than a full rotation since the time of the interaction/merger event, raising the question of whether they are in dynamical equilibrium. Assuming that these discs are in equilibrium, the inferred dynamical masses are consistent with the observed baryonic masses, implying that TDGs are devoid of dark matter. This puts constraints on putative "dark discs" (either baryonic or non-baryonic) in the progenitor galaxies. Moreover, TDGs seem to systematically deviate from the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation. These results provide a challenging test for alternative theories like MOND. © 2015 ESO. Source

Jofre P.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Jofre P.,Laboratoire Dastrophysique Of Bordeaux
EPJ Web of Conferences | Year: 2012

A study of stellar ages for a sample from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is presented. The results are consolidated with a set of globular clusters (GCs) and show that this stellar sample is composed by one dominant population of 10-12 Gyr. This supports the Eggen's scenario, which claims that the inner halo of the Milky Way formed rapidly, probably during the collapse of the proto-Galactic cloud. © Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2012. Source

Lammer H.,Austrian Academy of Sciences | Blanc M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Benz W.,University of Bern | Fridlund M.,European Space Agency | And 20 more authors.
Astrobiology | Year: 2013

A scientific forum on The Future Science of Exoplanets and Their Systems, sponsored by Europlanet* and the International Space Science Institute (ISSI)† and co-organized by the Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)‡ of the University of Bern, was held during December 5 and 6, 2012, in Bern, Switzerland. It gathered 24 well-known specialists in exoplanetary, Solar System, and stellar science to discuss the future of the fast-expanding field of exoplanetary research, which now has nearly 1000 objects to analyze and compare and will develop even more quickly over the coming years. The forum discussions included a review of current observational knowledge, efforts for exoplanetary atmosphere characterization and their formation, water formation, atmospheric evolution, habitability aspects, and our understanding of how exoplanets interact with their stellar and galactic environment throughout their history. Several important and timely research areas of focus for further research efforts in the field were identified by the forum participants. These scientific topics are related to the origin and formation of water and its delivery to planetary bodies and the role of the disk in relation to planet formation, including constraints from observations as well as star-planet interaction processes and their consequences for atmosphere-magnetosphere environments, evolution, and habitability. The relevance of these research areas is outlined in this report, and possible themes for future ISSI workshops are identified that may be proposed by the international research community over the coming 2-3 years. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013. Source

Jofre P.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics | Jofre P.,Laboratoire Dastrophysique Of Bordeaux | Weiss A.,Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

We determined the age of the stellar content of the Galactic halo by considering main-sequence turn-off stars. From the large number of halo stars provided by Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we could accurately detect the turn-off as a function of metallicity of the youngest dominant population, which was done by looking at the hottest (bluest) stars of a population. Using the turn-off temperature of a population of a given metallicity, we looked for the isochrones with that turn-off temperature and metallicity and found no age gradient as a function of metallicity. This would mean that this dominating population of the Galactic halo formed rapidly, probably during the collapse of the proto-Galactic gas. Moreover, we could find a significant number of stars with hotter temperatures than the turn-off, which might be blue horizontal branch (BHB) stars, blue stragglers, or main sequence stars that are younger than the dominant population and were probably formed in external galaxies and accreted later on to our Milky Way. Motivated by the current debate about the efficiency of gravitational settling (atomic diffusion) in the interior of old solar-type stars, we used isochrones with and without settling to determine the ages. When ignoring diffusion in the isochrones we obtained ages of 14-16 Gyr. This result is a strong argument against inhibited diffusion in old halo field stars, since it results in a serious conflict with the age of the Universe of 13.7 Gyr. The age obtained including diffusion in the isochrones was 10-12 Gyr, which agrees with the absolute age of the old globular clusters in the inner halo. © 2011 ESO. Source

Chavarria L.,University of Chile | Chavarria L.,Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics | Chavarria L.,Laboratoire Dastrophysique Of Bordeaux | Chavarria L.,CSIC - National Institute of Aerospace Technology | And 5 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

We present Spitzer, near-IR (NIR) and millimetre observations of the massive star-forming regions W5-east, S235, S252, S254-S258 and NGC 7538. Spitzer data is combined with NIR observations to identify and classify the young population while 12CO and 13CO observations are used to examine the parental molecular cloud.We detect in total 3021 young stellar objects (YSOs). Of those, 539 are classified as Class I, and 1186 as Class II sources. YSOs are distributed in groups surrounded by a more scattered population. Class I sources are more hierarchically organized than Class II and associated with the most dense molecular material. We identify in total 41 embedded clusters containing between 52 and 73 per cent of the YSOs. Clusters are in general non-virialized, turbulent and have star formation efficiencies between 5 and 50 per cent.We compare the physical properties of embedded clusters harbouring massive stars (MEC) and low-mass embedded clusters (LEC) and find that both groups follow similar correlations where the MEC are an extrapolation of the LEC. The mean separation between MEC members is smaller compared to the cluster Jeans length than for LEC members. These results are in agreement with a scenario where stars are formed in hierarchically distributed dusty filaments where fragmentation is mainly driven by turbulence for the more massive clusters. We find several young OB-type stars having IR-excess emission which may be due to the presence of an accretion disc. © 2014 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Source

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