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Schruba A.,Max Planck Institute for Astronomy | Leroy A.K.,U.S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory | Walter F.,Max Planck Institute for Astronomy | Bigiel F.,University of California at Berkeley | And 10 more authors.
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2011

We use the IRAM HERACLES survey to study CO emission from 33 nearby spiral galaxies down to very low intensities. Using 21cm line atomic hydrogen (H I) data, mostly from THINGS, we predict the local mean CO velocity based on the mean H I velocity. By re-normalizing the CO velocity axis so that zero corresponds to the local mean H I velocity we are able to stack spectra coherently over large regions. This enables us to measure CO intensities with high significance as low as I CO 0.3 Kkms-1 ( M pc -2), an improvement of about one order of magnitude over previous studies. We detect CO out to galactocentric radii r gal r 25 and find the CO radial profile to follow a remarkably uniform exponential decline with a scale length of 0.2 r 25. Here we focus on stacking as a function of radius, comparing our sensitive CO profiles to matched profiles of H I, Hα, far-UV (FUV), and Infrared (IR) emission at 24 μm and 70 μm. We observe a tight, roughly linear relationship between CO and IR intensity that does not show any notable break between regions that are dominated by molecular gas () and those dominated by atomic gas (). We use combinations of FUV+24 μm and Hα+24 μm to estimate the recent star formation rate (SFR) surface density, ΣSFR, and find approximately linear relations between ΣSFR and . We interpret this as evidence of stars forming in molecular gas with little dependence on the local total gas surface density. While galaxies display small internal variations in the SFR-to-H2 ratio, we do observe systematic galaxy-to-galaxy variations. These galaxy-to-galaxy variations dominate the scatter in relationships between CO and SFR tracers measured at large scales. The variations have the sense that less massive galaxies exhibit larger ratios of SFR-to-CO than massive galaxies. Unlike the SFR-to-CO ratio, the balance between atomic and molecular gas depends strongly on the total gas surface density and galactocentric radius. It must also depend on additional parameters. Our results reinforce and extend to lower surface densities, a picture in which star formation in galaxies can be separated into two processes: the assembly of star-forming molecular clouds and the formation of stars from H2. The interplay between these processes yields a total gas-SFR relation with a changing slope, which has previously been observed and identified as a star formation threshold. © 2011. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved..


Prieto M.A.,IAC | Reunanen J.,University of Turku | Tristram K.R.W.,MPIfR | Neumayer N.,ESO | And 3 more authors.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2010

Spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of the central few tens of parsec region of some of the nearest, most well-studied, active galactic nuclei (AGN) are presented. These genuine AGN-core SEDs, mostly from Seyfert galaxies, are characterized by two main features: an infrared (IR) bump with the maximum in the 2-10 μm range and an increasing X-ray spectrum with frequency in the 1 to ∼200 keV region. These dominant features are common to Seyfert type 1 and 2 objects alike. In detail, type 1 AGN are clearly distinguished from type 2 by their high spatial resolution SEDs: type 2 AGN exhibit a sharp drop shortwards of 2 μm, with the optical to UV region being fully absorbed; type 1s instead show a gentle 2 μm drop ensued by a secondary, partially absorbed optical to UV emission bump. On the assumption that the bulk of optical to UV photons generated in these AGN is reprocessed by dust and re-emitted in the IR in an isotropic manner, the IR bump luminosity represents ≳70 per cent of the total energy output in these objects, and the second energetically important contribution is the high energies above 20 keV.Galaxies selected by their warm IR colours, i.e. presenting a relatively flat flux distribution in the 12-60 μm range, have often being classified as AGN. The results from these high spatial resolution SEDs question this criterion as a general rule. It is found that the intrinsic shape of the infrared SED of an AGN and inferred bolometric luminosity largely depart from those derived from large aperture data. AGN luminosities can be overestimated by up to two orders of magnitude if relying on IR satellite data. We find these differences to be critical for AGN luminosities below or about 1044 erg s-1. Above this limit, AGN tend to dominate the light of their host galaxy regardless of the integration aperture size used. Although the number of objects presented in this work is small, we tentatively mark this luminosity as a threshold to identify galaxy-light-dominated versus AGN-dominated objects. © 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 RAS.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

A team led from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (IAC) has found the most precise way ever to measure the rate at which stars form in galaxies using their radio emission at 1-10 Gigahertz frequency range Almost all the light we see in the universe comes from stars which form inside dense clouds of gas in the interstellar medium. The rate at which they form (referred to as the star formation rate, or SFR) depends on the reserves of gas in the galaxies and the physical conditions in the interstellar medium, which vary as the stars themselves evolve. Measuring the star formation rate is hence key to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies. Until now, a variety of observations at different wavelengths have been performed to calculate the SFR, each with its advantages and disadvantages. As the most commonly used SFR tracers, the visible and the ultraviolet emission can be partly absorbed by interstellar dust. This has motivated the use of hybrid tracers, which combine two or more different emissions, including the infrared, which can help to correct this dust absorption. However, the use of these tracers is often uncertain because other sources or mechanisms which are not related to the formation of massive stars can intervene and lead to confusion. Now, an international research team led by the IAC astrophysicist Fatemeh Tabatabaei has made a detailed analysis of the spectral energy distribution of a sample of galaxies, and has been able to measure, for the first time, the energy they emit within the frequency range of 1-10 Gigahertz which can be used to know their star formation rates. "We have used" explains this researcher "the radio emission because, in previous studies, a tight correlation was detected between the radio and the infrared emission, covering a range of more than four orders of magnitude". In order to explain this correlation, more detailed studies were needed to understand the energy sources and processes which produce the radio emission observed in the galaxies. "We decided within the research group to make studies of galaxies from the KINGFISH sample (Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: a Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel) at a series of radio frequencies", recalls Eva Schinnerer from the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. The final sample consists of 52 galaxies with very diverse properties. "As a single dish, the 100-m Effelsberg telescope with its high sensitivity is the ideal instrument to receive reliable radio fluxes of weak extended objects like galaxies", explains Marita Krause from the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany, who was in charge of the radio observations of those galaxies with the Effelsberg radio telescope. "We named it the KINGFISHER project, meaning KINGFISH galaxies Emitting in Radio." The results of this project, published today in The Astrophysical Journal, show that the 1-10 Gigahertz radio emission used is an ideal star formation tracer for several reasons. Firstly, the interstellar dust does not attenuate or absorb radiation at these frequencies; secondly, it is emitted by massive stars during several phases of their formation, from young stellar objects to HII regions (zones of ionized gas) and supernova remnants, and finally, there is no need to combine it with any other tracer. For these reasons, measurements in the chosen range are a more rigorous way to estimate the formation rate of massive stars than the tracers traditionally used. This study also clarifies the nature of the feedback processes occurring due to star formation activity, which are key in evolution of galaxies. "By differentiating the origins of the radio continuum, we could infer that the cosmic ray electrons (a component of the interstellar medium) are younger and more energetic in galaxies with higher star formation rates, which can cause powerful winds and outflows and have important consequences in regulation of star formation", explains Fatemeh Tabatabaei.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: phys.org

Almost all the light we see in the universe comes from stars which form inside dense clouds of gas in the interstellar medium. The rate at which they form (referred to as the star formation rate, or SFR) depends on the reserves of gas in the galaxies and the physical conditions in the interstellar medium, which vary as the stars themselves evolve. Measuring the star formation rate is hence key to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies. Until now, a variety of observations at different wavelengths have been performed to calculate the SFR, each with its advantages and disadvantages. As the most commonly used SFR tracers, the visible and the ultraviolet emission can be partly absorbed by interstellar dust. This has motivated the use of hybrid tracers, which combine two or more different emissions, including the infrared, which can help to correct this dust absorption. However, the use of these tracers is often uncertain because other sources or mechanisms which are not related to the formation of massive stars can intervene and lead to confusion. Now, an international research team led by the IAC astrophysicist Fatemeh Tabatabaei has made a detailed analysis of the spectral energy distribution of a sample of galaxies, and has been able to measure, for the first time, the energy they emit within the frequency range of 1-10 Gigahertz which can be used to know their star formation rates. "We have used" explains this researcher "the radio emission because, in previous studies, a tight correlation was detected between the radio and the infrared emission, covering a range of more than four orders of magnitude". In order to explain this correlation, more detailed studies were needed to understand the energy sources and processes which produce the radio emission observed in the galaxies. "We decided within the research group to make studies of galaxies from the KINGFISH sample (Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: a Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel) at a series of radio frequencies", recalls Eva Schinnerer from the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. The final sample consists of 52 galaxies with very diverse properties. "As a single dish, the 100-m Effelsberg telescope with its high sensitivity is the ideal instrument to receive reliable radio fluxes of weak extended objects like galaxies", explains Marita Krause from the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany, who was in charge of the radio observations of those galaxies with the Effelsberg radio telescope. "We named it the KINGFISHER project, meaning KINGFISH galaxies Emitting in Radio." The results of this project, published today in The Astrophysical Journal, show that the 1-10 Gigahertz radio emission used is an ideal star formation tracer for several reasons. Firstly, the interstellar dust does not attenuate or absorb radiation at these frequencies; secondly, it is emitted by massive stars during several phases of their formation, from young stellar objects to HII regions (zones of ionized gas) and supernova remnants, and finally, there is no need to combine it with any other tracer. For these reasons, measurements in the chosen range are a more rigorous way to estimate the formation rate of massive stars than the tracers traditionally used. This study also clarifies the nature of the feedback processes occurring due to star formation activity, which are key in evolution of galaxies. "By differentiating the origins of the radio continuum, we could infer that the cosmic ray electrons (a component of the interstellar medium) are younger and more energetic in galaxies with higher star formation rates, which can cause powerful winds and outflows and have important consequences in regulation of star formation", explains Fatemeh Tabatabaei. Explore further: Forming stars in the early universe More information: F. S. Tabatabaei et al. The Radio Spectral Energy Distribution and Star-formation Rate Calibration in Galaxies, The Astrophysical Journal (2017). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/836/2/185


News Article | October 26, 2016
Site: spaceref.com

An international team of astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer to image the Eta Carinae star system in the greatest detail ever achieved. They found new and unexpected structures within the binary system, including in the area between the two stars where extremely high velocity stellar winds are colliding. These new insights into this enigmatic star system could lead to a better understanding of the evolution of very massive stars. Led by Gerd Weigelt from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR) in Bonn, a team of astronomers have used the Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) at ESO's Paranal Observatory to take a unique image of the Eta Carinae star system in the Carina Nebula. This colossal binary system consists of two massive stars orbiting each other and is very active, producing stellar winds which travel at velocities of up to ten million kilometres per hour [1]. The zone between the two stars where the winds from each collide is very turbulent, but until now it could not be studied. The power of the Eta Carinae binary pair creates dramatic phenomena. A "Great Eruption" in the system was observed by astronomers in the 1830s. We now know that this was caused by the larger star of the pair expelling huge amounts of gas and dust in a short amount of time, which led to the distinctive lobes, known as the Homunculus Nebula, that we see in the system today. The combined effect of the two stellar winds as they smash into each other at extreme speeds is to create temperatures of millions of degrees and intense deluges of X-ray radiation. The central area where the winds collide is so comparatively tiny -- a thousand times smaller than the Homunculus Nebula -- that telescopes in space and on the ground so far have not been able to image them in detail. The team has now utilised the powerful resolving ability of the VLTI instrument AMBER to peer into this violent realm for the first time. A clever combination -- an interferometer -- of three of the four Auxiliary Telescopes at the VLT lead to a tenfold increase in resolving power in comparison to a single VLT Unit Telescope. This delivered the sharpest ever image of the system and yielded unexpected results about its internal structures. The new VLTI image clearly depict the structure which exists between the two Eta Carinae-stars. An unexpected fan-shaped structure was observed where the raging wind from the smaller, hotter star crashes into the denser wind from the larger of the pair. "Our dreams came true, because we can now get extremely sharp images in the infrared. The VLTI provides us with a unique opportunity to improve our physical understanding of Eta Carinae and many other key objects", says Gerd Weigelt. In addition to the imaging, the spectral observations of the collision zone made it possible to measure the velocities of the intense stellar winds [2]. Using these velocities, the team of astronomers were able to produce more accurate computer models of the internal structure of this fascinating stellar system, which will help increase our understanding of how these kind of extremely high mass stars lose mass as they evolve. Team member Dieter Schertl (MPIfR) looks forward: "The new VLTI instruments GRAVITY and MATISSE will allow us to get interferometric images with even higher precision and over a wider wavelength range. This wide wavelength range is needed to derive the physical properties of many astronomical objects." [1] The two stars are so massive and bright that the radiation they produce rips off their surfaces and spews them into space. This expulsion of stellar material is referred to as stellar "wind", and it can travel at millions of kilometres per hour. [2] Measurements were done through the Doppler effect. Astronomers use the Doppler effect (or shifts) to calculate precisely how fast stars and other astronomical objects move toward or away from Earth. The movement of an object towards or away from us causes a slight shift in its spectral lines. The velocity of the motion can be calculated from this shift. This research was presented in a paper to appear in Astronomy and Astrophysics. The team is composed of G. Weigelt (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany), K.-H. Hofmann (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany), D. Schertl (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany), N. Clementel (South African Astronomical Observatory, South Africa) , M.F. Corcoran (Goddard Space Flight Center, USA; Universities Space Research Association, USA), A. Damineli (Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil ), W.-J. de Wit (European Southern Observatory, Chile), R. Grellmann (Universität zu Köln, Germany), J. Groh (The University of Dublin, Ireland ), S. Guieu (European Southern Observatory, Chile), T. Gull (Goddard Space Flight Center, USA), M. Heininger (Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy, Germany) , D.J. Hillier (University of Pittsburgh, USA), C.A. Hummel (European Southern Observatory, Germany), S. Kraus (University of Exeter, UK), T. Madura (Goddard Space Flight Center, USA), A. Mehner (European Southern Observatory, Chile), A. Mérand ( European Southern Observatory, Chile), F. Millour (Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France), A.F.J. Moffat (Université de Montréal, Canada), K. Ohnaka (Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile), F. Patru (Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Italy), R.G. Petrov (Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, France), S. Rengaswamy (Indian Institute of Astrophysics, India) , N.D. Richardson (The University of Toledo, USA), T. Rivinius (European Southern Observatory, Chile), M. Schöller (European Southern Observatory, Germany), M. Teodoro (Goddard Space Flight Center, USA) , and M. Wittkowski (European Southern Observatory, Germany) ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world's most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It is supported by 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world's largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become "the world's biggest eye on the sky". Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: spaceref.com

Almost all the light we see in the universe comes from stars which form inside dense clouds of gas in the interstellar medium. The rate at which they form (referred to as the star formation rate, or SFR) depends on the reserves of gas in the galaxies and the physical conditions in the interstellar medium, which vary as the stars themselves evolve. Measuring the star formation rate is hence key to understand the formation and evolution of galaxies. Until now, a variety of observations at different wavelengths have been performed to calculate the SFR, each with its advantages and disadvantages. As the most commonly used SFR tracers, the visible and the ultraviolet emission can be partly absorbed by interstellar dust. This has motivated the use of hybrid tracers, which combine two or more different emissions, including the infrared, which can help to correct this dust absorption. However, the use of these tracers is often uncertain because other sources or mechanisms which are not related to the formation of massive stars can intervene and lead to confusion. Now, an international research team led by the IAC astrophysicist Fatemeh Tabatabaei has made a detailed analysis of the spectral energy distribution of a sample of galaxies, and has been able to measure, for the first time, the energy they emit within the frequency range of 1-10 Gigahertz which can be used to know their star formation rates. "We have used" explains this researcher "the radio emission because, in previous studies, a tight correlation was detected between the radio and the infrared emission, covering a range of more than four orders of magnitude". In order to explain this correlation, more detailed studies were needed to understand the energy sources and processes which produce the radio emission observed in the galaxies. "We decided within the research group to make studies of galaxies from the KINGFISH sample (Key Insights on Nearby Galaxies: a Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel) at a series of radio frequencies", recalls Eva Schinnerer from the Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie (MPIA) in Heidelberg, Germany. The final sample consists of 52 galaxies with very diverse properties. "As a single dish, the 100-m Effelsberg telescope with its high sensitivity is the ideal instrument to receive reliable radio fluxes of weak extended objects like galaxies", explains Marita Krause from the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie (MPIfR) in Bonn, Germany, who was in charge of the radio observations of those galaxies with the Effelsberg radio telescope. "We named it the KINGFISHER project, meaning KINGFISH galaxies Emitting in Radio." The results of this project, published today in The Astrophysical Journal, show that the 1-10 Gigahertz radio emission used is an ideal star formation tracer for several reasons. Firstly, the interstellar dust does not attenuate or absorb radiation at these frequencies; secondly, it is emitted by massive stars during several phases of their formation, from young stellar objects to HII regions (zones of ionized gas) and supernova remnants, and finally, there is no need to combine it with any other tracer. For these reasons, measurements in the chosen range are a more rigorous way to estimate the formation rate of massive stars than the tracers traditionally used. This study also clarifies the nature of the feedback processes occurring due to star formation activity, which are key in evolution of galaxies. "By differentiating the origins of the radio continuum, we could infer that the cosmic ray electrons (a component of the interstellar medium) are younger and more energetic in galaxies with higher star formation rates, which can cause powerful winds and outflows and have important consequences in regulation of star formation", explains Fatemeh Tabatabaei. Article: "The radio spectral energy distribution and star formation rate calibration in galaxies", by F. Tabatabaei et al. The Astrophysical Journal. Volume 836, Number 2. (DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/836/2/185) Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.


News Article | December 9, 2016
Site: spaceref.com

Almost 25,000 light-years away, two dead stars, each more massive than our Sun, but only 20 kilometers in diameter, orbit one another in less than five hours. This unusual pair of extreme objects, known as neutron stars, was discovered by an international team of scientists -- including researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics and the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy -- and by volunteers from the distributed computing project Einstein@Home. Their find is the latest addition to a short list of only 14 known similar binary systems, and it also is the most massive of those. Double neutron star systems are important cosmic laboratories that enable some of the most precise tests of Einstein's general theory of relativity. They also play an important role as potential gravitational-wave sources for the LIGO detectors. Neutron stars are the highly magnetized and extremely dense remnants of supernova explosions. Like a rapidly rotating cosmic lighthouse they emit beams of radio waves into space. If Earth happens to lie along one of the beams, large radio telescopes can detect the neutron star as a pulsating celestial source: a radio pulsar. Most of the about 2,500 known radio pulsars are isolated, i.e. spinning alone in space. Only 255 are in binary systems with a companion star, and only every 20th of those is in orbits with another neutron star. "These rare double neutron star systems are unique laboratories for fundamental physics, enabling measurements that are impossible to obtain in any laboratory on Earth," says Bruce Allen, director at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics in Hannover, director of Einstein@Home and co-author of the study published in The Astrophysical Journal. "That is why we need large telescopes like the Arecibo observatory and sensitive data analysis 'machines' like Einstein@Home to discover as many of these exciting objects as possible." The new discovery was made in data from the Arecibo radio telescope. The PALFA consortium (PALFA: "Pulsar Surveys with the Arecibo L-Feed Array"), an international team of scientists, conducts a survey of the sky with the observatory to find new radio pulsars. The PALFA survey so far has discovered 171 radio pulsars. The data are also analyzed by the Einstein@Home distributed computing project, which has made 31 of these discoveries. Einstein@Home aggregates the computing power provided by more than 40,000 volunteers from all around the world on their 50,000 laptops, PCs, and smartphones. The project is one of the largest distributed volunteer computing projects, and its computing power of 1.7 petaflops puts it among the 60 largest supercomputers in the world. After the initial discovery of the binary system by Einstein@Home in February 2012, the PALFA researchers observed the system repeatedly with the Arecibo telescope to precisely measure the orbit of the radio pulsar, which spins once every 27.2 milliseconds (37 times each second). Their observations showed that the object called PSR J1913+1102 (this name encodes a sky position, the pulsar's celestial "address") consists of two stars orbiting one another in a little less than five hours in a slightly elliptical orbit. From measuring how the pulsar rotates slightly slower over time, the scientists could also infer its magnetic field to be a few billion times that of our Earth. This is relatively weak for a neutron star and indicates an episode of matter accretion from the companion star in the distant past. This accretion episode, however, would have circularized the orbit, too. The observed ellipticity of the orbit is testament of the companion exploding in a supernova and leaving behind a second neutron star. The kick of the supernova explosion did not disrupt the binary system but made its orbits elliptical. Moreover, the research team measured an effect of Einstein's general theory of relativity in the binary system. Like the orbit of Mercury around our Sun, the elliptical orbit of the radio pulsar rotates over time. But while Mercury's orbit rotates by only 0.0001 degree per year, J1913+1102's orbit rotates 47,000 times faster: a full 5.6 degrees each year. The magnitude of this effect, known as relativistic periastron advance, depends on the combined mass of the radio pulsar and its companion, thereby allowing a measurement of this quantity. "With a total mass of 2.88 times that of our Sun, our discovery breaks the current record for the total mass of the known double neutron star systems," says Dr. Paulo Freire, researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn. "We expect that the pulsar is heavier than the companion star, but with our current observations we cannot yet determine the individual masses of the pulsar and its neutron star companion. However, continued observations will enable this measurement." If the pulsar indeed turns out to be substantially more massive than the companion, this system will be significantly different from all the other known double neutron star systems. In that case, it promises to become one of the best known laboratories for testing theories of gravitation alternative to Einstein's theory of general relativity. Since the companion star also is a neutron star, it might also be detectable as a radio pulsar -- provided its radio beam also sweeps over the Earth. But that does not seem to be the case for J1913+1102. The researchers painstakingly searched all their data for radio pulsations from the companion -- but in vain. They did not find any sign of radio emission from the companion. As the neutron stars orbit one another, their orbits shrink because the system emits gravitational waves. Measurements of this effect might allow to determine the individual masses of both the pulsar and its companion. Researchers hope to learn more about the little-known stellar evolution of such binary systems and the unknown properties of matter at the density of an atomic nucleus. Discoveries like this one are also interesting for the era of gravitational-wave astronomy that began in September 2015 with the first direct detection of gravitational waves. "Finding double neutron stars systems similar to J1913+1102 is useful for the gravitational-wave science community. It helps us better understand how often these systems merge, and how often Advanced LIGO might detect the signals of merging neutron stars in the future," concludes Prof. Michael Kramer, director at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy. "Einstein@Home Discovery of a Double Neutron Star Binary in the PALFA Survey," P. Lazarus et al., 2016 Nov. 10, Astrophysical Journal [http://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/0004-637X/831/2/150/meta, preprint: https://arxiv.org/abs/1608.08211]. The team comprises P. Lazarus, P. C. C. Freire, B. Allen, S. Bogdanov, A. Brazier, F. Camilo, F. Cardoso, S. Chatterjee, J. M. Cordes, F. Crawford, J. S. Deneva, R. Ferdman, J. W. T. Hessels, F. A. Jenet, C. Karako-Argaman, V. M. Kaspi, B. Knispel, R. Lynch, J. van Leeuwen, E. Madsen, M. A. McLaughlin, C. Patel, S. M. Ransom, P. Scholz, A. Seymou, X. Siemens, L. G. Spitler, I. H. Stairs, K. Stovall, J. Swiggum, A. Venkataraman, W. W. Zhu. Authors from MPIfR are Patrick Lazarus, the first author, Paulo Freire, Laura Spitler and W.W. Zhu. A report on these findings was also presented as a research highlight from the AAS journals: http://aasnova.org/2016/12/02/einsteinhome-finds-a-double-neutron-star/ Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.


Chapillon E.,MPIfR | Chapillon E.,Academia Sinica, Taiwan | Parise B.,MPIfR | Guilloteau S.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | And 2 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Context. The structure in density and temperature of protoplanetary disks surrounding low-mass stars is not well known yet. The protoplanetary disks' midplane are expected to be very cold and thus depleted in molecules in gas phase, especially CO. Recent observations of molecules at very low apparent temperatures (~6 K) challenge this current picture of the protoplanetary disk structures. Aims. We aim at constraining the physical conditions and, in particular, the gas-phase CO abundance in the midplane of protoplanetary disks. Methods. The light molecule H2D+ is a tracer of cold and CO-depleted environment. It is therefore a good candidate for exploring the disks midplanes. We performed a deep search for H2D+ in the two well-known disks surrounding TW Hya and DM Tau using the APEX and JCMT telescopes. The analysis of the observations was done with DISKFIT, a radiative transfer code dedicated to disks. In addition, we used a chemical model describing deuterium chemistry to infer the implications of our observations on the level of CO depletion and on the ionization rate in the disk midplane. Results. The ortho-H2D+ (11,0-11,1) line at 372 GHz was not detected. Although our limit is three times better than previous observations, comparison with the chemical modeling indicates that it is still insufficient for putting useful constraints on the CO abundance in the disk midplane. Conclusions. Even with ALMA, the detection of H2D + may not be straightforward, and H2D+ may not be sensitive enough to trace the protoplanetary disks midplane. © 2011 ESO.


News Article | February 25, 2016
Site: www.techtimes.com

Astronomers all over the world have been surveying the sky for years now, even looking beyond our galaxy. Now, the Milky Way is seen in a dramatic new way in a mesmerizing new image produced by astronomers using the Apex observatory. The Apex Telescope Large Area Survey of the Galaxy (ATLASGAL) project recorded the image of our home galaxy. Due to the unique nature of this instrument, astronomers recorded the presence of cold gas scattered throughout our Milky Way galaxy. The Apex telescope is located on Chajnantor Plateau, 5,100 meters (16,700 feet) above sea level in Chile. It boasts a reflector 468 inches in diameter. Data from the massive ground-based telescope was pieced together with observations from the Planck space-based telescope, operated by the European Space Agency (ESA). "ATLASGAL provides exciting insights into where the next generation of high-mass stars and clusters form. By combining these with observations from Planck, we can now obtain a link to the large-scale structures of giant molecular clouds," said Timea Csengeri of the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), located in Bonn, Germany. From side to side, this new image covers 140 degrees in length, and 3 degrees across. This is nearly 1,700 times larger than the full moon as seen from Earth. One instrument utilized in the Apex survey is the Large Bolometer Camera (LABOCA), an ultra-sensitive camera capable of recording a change of temperature in its detectors driven by cool bands of dust obscuring light from distant stars. The Apex telescope has been in operation for just over a decade, complimenting the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (Alma), also operating on the Chajnantor Plateau. Data gathered from the Apex observations of the southern half of our galaxy will be examined in greater detail by astronomers using the Alma observatory. This southern part of the galaxy includes the galactic core, making it a rich field of data for astronomers. The northern half of the Milky Way was mapped by researchers using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope. Frequencies of electromagnetic energy studied in the Apex observations sit between infrared and radio wavelengths. This is the second Atlasgal photograph released by astronomers, and data from the program has already spawned nearly 70 scientific articles published in journals. Future research will examine gas in the Milky Way using other instruments in an effort to view the galaxy in a variety of wavelengths. "The new release of the full survey opens up the possibility to mine this marvellous dataset for new discoveries. Many teams of scientists are already using the ATLASGAL data to plan for detailed ALMA follow-up," said Leonardo Testi of the European Southern Observatory.


Seelmann-Eggebert M.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics | Schafer F.,MPIfR | Leuther A.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics | Massler H.,Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics
IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest | Year: 2010

A versatile scalable small signal model for high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) of gate length 50 nm and 100 nm has been developed. The model covers a large bias range and includes the temperature dependence from 300 K to 15 K. Especially, it is capable to predict the noise behaviour of the transistor in dependence of ambient temperature and frequency. © 2010 IEEE.

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