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Vilas F.,MMT Observatory | Vilas F.,Planetary Science Institute | Hendrix A.R.,Planetary Science Institute | Hendrix A.R.,Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2015

Evidence for the manifestation of space weathering in S-complex asteroids as a bluing of the UV/blue reflectance spectrum is extended using high resolution CCD reflectance spectra of 21 main-belt, 1 Mars-crossing, and 3 near-Earth asteroids covering a wavelength range of 320-620 nm. Demonstration of the transition of iron-bearing materials from volume scattering to surface (Fresnel) scattering is apparent as an abrupt downturn at wavelengths just short of 400 nm in reflectance spectra of fresh asteroid surfaces. The weathering away of this downturn is demonstrated by its absence in reflectance spectra of mature S-complex asteroids, consistent with an increase in npFe0 on the material's surface. Modeling of the effects of the addition of small amounts of npFe0 to particles from both a hypothetical mineral and a terrestrial basalt shows that evidence of the addition of 0.0001% npFe0 affects the reflectance at UV/blue wavelengths, while the addition of 0.01% is required to see the visible/near-infrared reddening and diminution of absorption features. Thus, the UV/blue reflectance characteristics allow earlier detection of the onset of space weathering effects. Combining UV/blue spectral characteristics of asteroids and ordinary chondrite meteorites with estimated ages of the young Datura family, we establish a method of dating asteroid surface ages during the early stages of space weathering. We demonstrate by dating the surface of NEA 163249 2002 GT to be 109 (±18) to 128 (±10) Kyr. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

Comerford J.M.,University of Colorado at Boulder | Comerford J.M.,University of Texas at Austin | Schluns K.,Boston University | Greene J.E.,Princeton University | Cool R.J.,MMT Observatory
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2013

Dual supermassive black holes (SMBHs) with kiloparsec-scale separations in merger-remnant galaxies are informative tracers of galaxy evolution, but the avenue for identifying them in large numbers for such studies is not yet clear. One promising approach is to target spectroscopic signatures of systems where both SMBHs are fueled as dual active galactic nuclei (AGNs), or where one SMBH is fueled as an offset AGN. Dual AGNs may produce double-peaked narrow AGN emission lines, while offset AGNs may produce single-peaked narrow AGN emission lines with line-of-sight velocity offsets relative to the host galaxy. We search for such dual and offset systems among 173 Type 2 AGNs at z < 0.37 in the AGN and Galaxy Evolution Survey (AGES), and we find two double-peaked AGNs and five offset AGN candidates. When we compare these results to a similar search of the DEEP2 Galaxy Redshift Survey and match the two samples in color, absolute magnitude, and minimum velocity offset, we find that the fraction of AGNs that are dual SMBH candidates increases from z = 0.25 to z = 0.7 by a factor of ∼6 (from 2/70 to 16/91, or to ). This may be associated with the rise in the galaxy merger fraction over the same cosmic time. As further evidence for a link with galaxy mergers, the AGES offset and dual AGN candidates are tentatively ∼3 times more likely than the overall AGN population to reside in a host galaxy that has a companion galaxy (from 16/173 to 2/7, or to ). Follow-up observations of the seven offset and dual AGN candidates in AGES will definitively distinguish velocity offsets produced by dual SMBHs from those produced by narrow-line region kinematics, and will help sharpen our observational approach to detecting dual SMBHs. © 2013. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Powell K.B.,MMT Observatory | Vaitheeswaran V.,Steward Observatory
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2010

The MMT observatory has recently implemented and tested an optimal wavefront controller for the NGS adaptive optics system. Open loop atmospheric data collected at the telescope is used as the input to a MATLAB based analytical model. The model uses nonlinear constrained minimization to determine controller gains and optimize the system performance. The real-time controller performing the adaptive optics close loop operation is implemented on a dedicated high performance PC based quad core server. The controller algorithm is written in C and uses the GNU scientific library for linear algebra. Tests at the MMT confirmed the optimal controller significantly reduced the residual RMS wavefront compared with the previous controller. Significant reductions in image FWHM and increased peak intensities were obtained in J, H and K-bands. The optimal PID controller is now operating as the baseline wavefront controller for the MMT NGS-AO system. © 2010 SPIE.

Bendek E.A.,University of Arizona | Hart M.,University of Arizona | Powell K.B.,University of Arizona | Milton N.M.,University of Arizona | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2010

The Laser Adaptive Optics system of the 6.5 m MMT telescope has now been commissioned with Ground Layer Adaptive Optics operations as a tool for astronomical science. In this mode the wavefronts sampled by each of five laser beacons are averaged, leading to an estimate of the aberration in the ground layer. The ground layer is then compensated by the deformable secondary mirror at 400 Hz. Image quality of 0.2-0.3 arc sec is delivered in the near infrared bands from 1.2-2.5 um over a field of view of 2 arc minutes. Tomographic wavefront sensing tests in May 2010 produced open loop data necessary to streamline the software to generate a Laser Tomography Adaptive Optics (LTAO) reconstructor. In addition, we present the work being done to achieve optimal control PID wavefront control and thus increase the disturbance rejection frequency response for the system. Finally, we briefly describe plans to mount the ARIES near infrared imager and echelle spectrograph, which will support the 2 arc min ground-layer corrected field and will exploit the diffraction limit anticipated with LTAO. ©2010 SPIE.

Zaritsky D.,University of Arizona | Aravena M.,Diego Portales University | Athanassoula E.,Aix - Marseille University | Bosma A.,Aix - Marseille University | And 18 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2015

Using 3.6 μm images of 97 early-type galaxies, we develop and verify methodology to measure globular cluster populations from the S4G survey images. We find that (1) the ratio, T N, of the number of clusters, N CL, to parent galaxy stellar mass, M, rises weakly with M for early-type galaxies with M 1010 M when we calculate galaxy masses using a universal stellar initial mass function (IMF) but that the dependence of T N on M is removed entirely once we correct for the recently uncovered systematic variation of IMF with M and (2) for M < 1010 M , there is no trend between N CL and M, the scatter in T N is significantly larger (approaching two orders of magnitude), and there is evidence to support a previous, independent suggestion of two families of galaxies. The behavior of N CL in the lower-mass systems is more difficult to measure because these systems are inherently cluster-poor, but our results may add to previous evidence that large variations in cluster formation and destruction efficiencies are to be found among low-mass galaxies. The average fraction of stellar mass in clusters is 0.0014 for M > 1010 M and can be as large as 0.02 for less massive galaxies. These are the first results from the S4G sample of galaxies and will be enhanced by the sample of early-type galaxies now being added to S4G and complemented by the study of later-type galaxies within S4G. © 2015. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..

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