Matching Items (10)

137307-Thumbnail Image.png

Star Lore Series: An Illustrative Exploration of None-Western Mythology

Description

Utilizing non-western mythology, narratives, and stories as the inspiration for a four part illustration series. Documenting the research of various myths surrounding certain stars and constellations as well as the

Utilizing non-western mythology, narratives, and stories as the inspiration for a four part illustration series. Documenting the research of various myths surrounding certain stars and constellations as well as the technical process of creating the digital paintings which comprised the final output of the project.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

132732-Thumbnail Image.png

Detections of GRBs with the Telescope DDOTI and Code Manuals

Description

At the start of this honors thesis project, a new telescope called the deca-degree optical transient imager (DDOTI) needed assistance to help it gather photometric data about Gamma Ray Bursts

At the start of this honors thesis project, a new telescope called the deca-degree optical transient imager (DDOTI) needed assistance to help it gather photometric data about Gamma Ray Bursts (GRBs). Contributions to help DDOTI produce scientifically ready reductions will be discussed.
First, performance assessment tests were run in order to prevent data backlog and optimize the way in which DDOTI reduces the data it collects. The results of these tests yielded a general framework regarding how DDOTI should reduce collected images depending on how many computer cores can be used. These tests also indicated that DDOTI’s alignment portion of the reduction code (ddoti_align) should be completed after every image is collected, while the other parts of the reduction software (ddoti_stack, ddoti_phot, ddoti_summary) should be run after every four images are collected.
Second, reductions created by DDOTI were inspected to determine if the telescope’s reduction software was working properly. Reductions were observed and indicated that two reduction related problems needed to be corrected by the research team before DDOTI would be ready for future scientific work. The first identified problem was that DDOTI’s reduction code was not properly correcting optical distortions for one of DDOTI’s two functional cameras. The second problem was that the reduction code was not correcting for atmospheric refraction. As a result, below zenith distances of approximately sixty degrees, ddoti_align was unable to align detected sources to their catalogue equivalents due to their distorted positions.
Third, code manuals were produced in both English and Spanish so that English and Spanish-speaking researchers working on DDOTI could understand how its reductions software reduces images. Functional flow chart diagrams were also produced only in English to graphically describe the flow of information through DDOTI’s reduction software.
These three contributions helped DDOTI to more accurately be able to observe GRBs. DDOTI’s improved reduction abilities were confirmed by a produced report about GRB 190129B after a 10-hour observation, and by the fact that DDOTI could accurately observed asteroid fields. In addition, code manuals and functional flow chart diagrams were all produced by the end of this project.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2019-05

153934-Thumbnail Image.png

Possible counterparts of IceCube high energy neutrinos

Description

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has provided the first map of the high energy (~0.01 – 1 PeV) sky in neutrinos. Since neutrinos propagate undeflected, their arrival direction is an important

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has provided the first map of the high energy (~0.01 – 1 PeV) sky in neutrinos. Since neutrinos propagate undeflected, their arrival direction is an important identifier for sources of high energy particle acceleration. Reconstructed arrival directions are consistent with an extragalactic origin, with possibly a galactic component, of the neutrino flux. We present a statistical analysis of positional coincidences of the IceCube neutrinos with known astrophysical objects from several catalogs. For the brightest gamma-ray emitting blazars and for Seyfert galaxies, the numbers of coincidences is consistent with the random, or “null”, distribution. Instead, when considering starburst galaxies with the highest flux in gamma-rays and infrared radiation, up to n = 8 coincidences are found, representing an excess over the ~4 predicted for the null distribution. The probability that this excess is realized in the null case, the p-value, is p = 0.042. This value falls to p = 0.003 for a set of gamma-ray detected starburst galaxies and superbubbles in the galactic neighborhood. Therefore, it is possible that these might account for a subset of IceCube neutrinos. The physical plausibility of such correlation is discussed briefly.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

150890-Thumbnail Image.png

Observing simulated images of the high redshift universe: the faint end luminosity function

Description

Numerical simulations are very helpful in understanding the physics of the formation of structure and galaxies. However, it is sometimes difficult to interpret model data with respect to observations, partly

Numerical simulations are very helpful in understanding the physics of the formation of structure and galaxies. However, it is sometimes difficult to interpret model data with respect to observations, partly due to the difficulties and background noise inherent to observation. The goal, here, is to attempt to bridge this gap between simulation and observation by rendering the model output in image format which is then processed by tools commonly used in observational astronomy. Images are synthesized in various filters by folding the output of cosmological simulations of gasdynamics with star-formation and dark matter with the Bruzual- Charlot stellar population synthesis models. A variation of the Virgo-Gadget numerical simulation code is used with the hybrid gas and stellar formation models of Springel and Hernquist (2003). Outputs taken at various redshifts are stacked to create a synthetic view of the simulated star clusters. Source Extractor (SExtractor) is used to find groupings of stellar populations which are considered as galaxies or galaxy building blocks and photometry used to estimate the rest frame luminosities and distribution functions. With further refinements, this is expected to provide support for missions such as JWST, as well as to probe what additional physics are needed to model the data. The results show good agreement in many respects with observed properties of the galaxy luminosity function (LF) over a wide range of high redshifts. In particular, the slope (alpha) when fitted to the standard Schechter function shows excellent agreement both in value and evolution with redshift, when compared with observation. Discrepancies of other properties with observation are seen to be a result of limitations of the simulation and additional feedback mechanisms which are needed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

156627-Thumbnail Image.png

Following the cosmic evolution of the pristine gas: Pop III star formation and the first galaxies

Description

The formation of the firsts stars some 100-300 Myr after the Big Bang marked the end of the cosmic darks ages and created the elemental building blocks of not only

The formation of the firsts stars some 100-300 Myr after the Big Bang marked the end of the cosmic darks ages and created the elemental building blocks of not only rocky planets but eventually us. Understanding their formation, lifetimes, and contributions to the evolution of our universe is one of the current frontiers in astronomy and astrophysics.

In this work I present an improved model for following the formation of Pop III stars, their effects on early galaxy evolution, and how we might search for them. I make use of a new subgrid model of turbulent mixing to accurately follow the time scales required to mix supernova (SN) ejecta -- enriched with heavy elements -- into the pristine gas. I implement this model within a large-scale cosmological simulation and follow the fraction of gas with metallicity below a critical value marking the boundary between Pop III and metal enriched Population II (Pop II) star formation. I demonstrate that accounting for subgrid mixing results in a Pop III stars formation rate that is 2-3 times higher than standard models with the same physical resolution.

I also implement and track a new "Primordial metals" (PM) scalar that tracks the metals generated by Pop III SNe. These metals are taken up by second generation stars and likely result in a subclass of carbon-enhanced, metal-poor (CEMP) stars. By tracking both regular metals and PM, I can model, in post-processing, the elemental abundances of simulation stars. I find good agreement between observations of CEMP-no Milky Way halo stars and second generation stars within the simulation when assuming the first stars had a typical mass of 60 M☉, providing clues as to the Pop III initial mass function.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018

152707-Thumbnail Image.png

Variability of elemental abundances in the local neighborhood and its effect on planetary systems

Description

As the detection of planets become commonplace around our neighboring stars, scientists can now begin exploring their possible properties and habitability. Using statistical analysis I determine a true range of

As the detection of planets become commonplace around our neighboring stars, scientists can now begin exploring their possible properties and habitability. Using statistical analysis I determine a true range of elemental compositions amongst local stars and how this variation could affect possible planetary systems. Through calculating and analyzing the variation in elemental abundances of nearby stars, the actual range in stellar abundances can be determined using statistical methods. This research emphasizes the diversity of stellar elemental abundances and how that could affect the environment from which planets form. An intrinsic variation has been found to exist for almost all of the elements studied by most abundance-finding groups. Specifically, this research determines abundances for a set of 458 F, G, and K stars from spectroscopic planet hunting surveys for 27 elements, including: C, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, Zr, Mo, Ba, La, Ce, Nd, Eu, and Hf. Abundances of the elements in many known exosolar planet host stars are calculated for the purpose investigating new ways to visualize how stellar abundances could affect planetary systems, planetary formation, and mineralogy. I explore the Mg/Si and C/O ratios as well as place these abundances on ternary diagrams with Fe. Lastly, I emphasize the unusual stellar abundance of τ Ceti. τ Ceti is measured to have 5 planets of Super-Earth masses orbiting in near habitable zone distances. Spectroscopic analysis finds that the Mg/Si ratio is extremely high (~2) for this star, which could lead to alterations in planetary properties. τ Ceti's low metallicity and oxygen abundance account for a change in the location of the traditional habitable zone, which helps clarify a new definition of habitable planets.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

150442-Thumbnail Image.png

Clustering of stars in nearby galaxies: probing the range of stellar structures

Description

Most stars form in groups, and these clusters are themselves nestled within larger associations and stellar complexes. It is not yet clear, however, whether stars cluster on preferred size scales

Most stars form in groups, and these clusters are themselves nestled within larger associations and stellar complexes. It is not yet clear, however, whether stars cluster on preferred size scales within galaxies, or if stellar groupings have a continuous size distribution. I have developed two methods to select stellar groupings across a wide range of size-scales in order to assess trends in the size distribution and other basic properties of stellar groupings. The first method uses visual inspection of color-magnitude and color-color diagrams of clustered stars to assess whether the compact sources within the potential association are coeval, and thus likely to be born from the same parentmolecular cloud. This method was developed using the stellar associations in the M51/NGC 5195 interacting galaxy system. This process is highly effective at selecting single-aged stellar associations, but in order to assess properties of stellar clustering in a larger sample of nearby galaxies, an automated method for selecting stellar groupings is needed. I have developed an automated stellar grouping selection method that is sensitive to stellar clustering on all size scales. Using the Source Extractor software package on Gaussian-blurred images of NGC 4214, and the annular surface brightness to determine the characteristic size of each cluster/association, I eliminate much of the size and density biases intrinsic to other methods. This automated method was tested in the nearby dwarf irregular galaxy NGC 4214, and can detect stellar groupings with sizes ranging from compact clusters to stellar complexes. In future work, the automatic selection method developed in this dissertation will be used to identify stellar groupings in a set of nearby galaxies to determine if the size scales for stellar clustering are uniform in the nearby universe or if it is dependent on local galactic environment. Once the stellar clusters and associations have been identified and age-dated, this information can be used to deduce disruption times from the age distribution as a function of the position of the stellar grouping within the galaxy, the size of the cluster or association, and the morphological type of the galaxy. The implications of these results for galaxy formation and evolution are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

150630-Thumbnail Image.png

Formation of compact stellar clusters by high-redshift galaxy outflows

Description

Using high-resolution three-dimensional adaptive mesh refinement simulations I study the interaction between primordial minihalo, a clump of baryonic and dark matter with a virial temperature below the atomic cooling limit,

Using high-resolution three-dimensional adaptive mesh refinement simulations I study the interaction between primordial minihalo, a clump of baryonic and dark matter with a virial temperature below the atomic cooling limit, and a galaxy outflow. In Chapter 2 I concentrate on the formation of molecular coolants and their effect on the evolution of the minihalo gas. Molecular coolants are important since they allow gas to cool below 10000 K. Therefore, I implement a primordial chemistry and cooling network that tracks the evolution and cooling from these species. I show that the shock from the galaxy outflow produces an abundance of coolants in the primordial gas which allows the gas to cool to below 10000 K. I also show that this interaction produces compact stellar clusters that are ejected from their parent dark matter halos. In Chapter 3 I look at the turbulent mixing of metals that occur between the minihalo and outflow. To do this, I develop a sub-grid model for turbulence that reproduces three primary fluid instabilities. I find that the metals from the outflow are well mixed throughout the minihalo gas. In addition, the metal abundance found roughly corresponds to the observed abundances in halo globular clusters. In Chapter 4, I conduct a suite of simulations that follow this interaction over a wide range of parameters. In almost all cases, the shocked minihalos form molecules and cool rapidly to become compact, chemically homogenous stellar clusters. Furthermore, I show that the unique properties of these clusters make them a prime observational target for study with the next generation of telescopes. Given the unique properties of these clusters there are reasons to suspect that their low-redshift counterparts are halo globular clusters. I outline this comparison in Chapter 5 and give my conclusions in Chapter 6. Finally, I summarize my current work in Chapter 7 and future extensions in Chapter 8. By the end, I hope to convince you that the interaction between a galaxy outflow and a primordial minihalo provides a formation pathway for present day halo globular clusters.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

151191-Thumbnail Image.png

Investigating the early universe with Lyman-alpha emission: galactic winds and stellar populations at z ̃ 3.1

Description

Lyman-alpha (Lyα) galaxies (LAEs) and Lyα blobs (LABs) are objects identified and studied due to their bright Lyα emission lines. This bright emission allows LAEs and LABs to be studied

Lyman-alpha (Lyα) galaxies (LAEs) and Lyα blobs (LABs) are objects identified and studied due to their bright Lyα emission lines. This bright emission allows LAEs and LABs to be studied in the distant universe, providing a glimpse into the physical processes occuring in the early universe. This dissertation presents three complementary studies of LAEs and LABs at z ~ 3.1. The two main foci of this work are (1) to understand the gas kinematics in both classes of objects and (2) to improve spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting processes to better determine the physical characteristics of LAEs. Gas kinematics in this dissertation means looking for signatures of large-scale winds. This is an exciting astrophysical endeavor, because the results can provide insight into how Lyα photons escape distant galaxies and traverse the IGM, and the results have implications for how the epoch of reionization can be studied with the Lyα line and because winds can be a signature of powerful star formation events. In the first two studies we find signatures of winds in three LAEs by measuring the velocity offset between the redshifts of [OIII] and Lyα in these galaxies. The first two LAEs presented here represent the first ever measurements of [OIII] in Lyα-selected field galaxies. The third study reports no velocity offset between [OIII] and Lyα when the methodology is transferred to a z ~ 3.1 LAB. This lack of velocity offset is an interesting result, however, as powerful outflows and star formation events, which should impart a velocity offset, have been hypothesized as power sources for LABs. In addition to understanding the kinematics of these objects, we introduce a new parameter into the SED fitting process typically used to characterize LAEs. This new parameter enables better determination of characteristics like the age, mass, metallicity, dust content and star formation history of the galaxies in our sample. These characteristics provide a snapshot of galaxies in the universe ~ 11 billion years ago and also provide insight into how these characteristics compare to galaxies at other epochs.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

151842-Thumbnail Image.png

Tidal tales of minor mergers: star formation in the tidal tails of minor mergers

Description

This work examines star formation in the debris associated with collisions of dwarf and spiral galaxies. While the spectacular displays of major mergers are famous (e.g., NGC 4038/9, ``The Antennae''),

This work examines star formation in the debris associated with collisions of dwarf and spiral galaxies. While the spectacular displays of major mergers are famous (e.g., NGC 4038/9, ``The Antennae''), equal mass galaxy mergers are relatively rare compared to minor mergers (mass ratio <0.3) Minor mergers are less energetic than major mergers, but more common in the observable universe and, thus, likely played a pivotal role in the formation of most large galaxies. Centers of mergers host vigorous star formation from high gas density and turbulence and are surveyed over cosmological distances. However, the tidal debris resulting from these mergers have not been well studied. Such regions have large reservoirs of gaseous material that can be used as fuel for subsequent star formation but also have lower gas density. Tracers of star formation at the local and global scale have been examined for three tidal tails in two minor merger systems. These tracers include young star cluster populations, H-alpha, and [CII] emission. The rate of apparent star formation derived from these tracers is compared to the gas available to estimate the star formation efficiency (SFE). The Western tail of NGC 2782 formed isolated star clusters while massive star cluster complexes are found in the UGC 10214 (``The Tadpole'') and Eastern tail of NGC 2782. Due to the lack of both observable CO and [CII] emission, the observed star formation in the Western tail of NGC 2782 may have a low carbon abundance and represent only the first round of local star formation. While the Western tail has a normal SFE, the Eastern tail in the same galaxy has an low observed SFE. In contrast, the Tadpole tidal tail has a high observed star formation rate and a corresponding high SFE. The low SFE observed in the Eastern tail of NGC 2782 may be due to its origin as a splash region where localized gas heating is important. However, the other tails may be tidally formed regions where gravitational compression likely dominates and enhances the local star formation.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013