Matching Items (6)

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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

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Investigation of Star Formation: Instrumentation and Methodology

Description

A thorough exploration of star formation necessitates observation across the electromagnetic spectrum. In particular, observations in the submillimeter and ultra-violet allow one to observe very early stage star formation and

A thorough exploration of star formation necessitates observation across the electromagnetic spectrum. In particular, observations in the submillimeter and ultra-violet allow one to observe very early stage star formation and to trace the evolution from molecular cloud collapse to stellar ignition. Submillimeter observations are essential for piercing the heart of heavily obscured stellar nurseries to observe star formation in its infancy. Ultra-violet observations allow one to observe stars just after they emerge from their surrounding environment, allowing higher energy radiation to escape. To make detailed observations of early stage star formation in both spectral regimes requires state-of-the-art detector technology and instrumentation. In this dissertation, I discuss the calibration and feasibility of detectors developed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and specially processed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to increase their quantum efficiency at far-ultraviolet wavelengths. A cursory treatment of the delta-doping process is presented, followed by a thorough discussion of calibration procedures developed at JPL and in the Laboratory for Astronomical and Space Instrumentation at ASU. Subsequent discussion turns to a novel design for a Modular Imager Cell forming one possible basis for construction of future large focal plane arrays. I then discuss the design, fabrication, and calibration of a sounding rocket imaging system developed using the MIC and these specially processed detectors. Finally, I discuss one scientific application of sub-mm observations. I used data from the Heinrich Hertz Sub-millimeter Telescope and the Sub-Millimeter Array (SMA) to observe sub-millimeter transitions and continuum emission towards AFGL 2591. I tested the use of vibrationally excited HCN emission to probe the protostellar accretion disk structure. I measured vibrationally excited HCN line ratios in order to elucidate the appropriate excitation mechanism. I find collisional excitation to be dominant, showing the emission originates in extremely dense (n&sim10;11 cm-3), warm (T&sim1000; K) gas. Furthermore, from the line profile of the v=(0, 22d, 0) transition, I find evidence for a possible accretion disk.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Antenna design and foreground characterization for improved detection of the redshifted 21 cm global signature during the Epoch of Reionization

Description

The Universe transitioned from a state of neutral hydrogen (HI) shortly after recombination to its present day ionized state, but this transition, the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), has been poorly

The Universe transitioned from a state of neutral hydrogen (HI) shortly after recombination to its present day ionized state, but this transition, the Epoch of Reionization (EoR), has been poorly constrained by observational data. Estimates place the EoR between redshifts 6 < z <13 (330-770 Myr).

The interaction of the 21 cm hyperfine ground state emission/absorption-line of HI with the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and the radiation from the first luminous sources in the universe can be used to extract cosmological information about the EoR. Theorists have created global redshifted 21 cm EoR models of this interaction that predict the temperature perturbations to the CMB in the form of a sky-averaged difference temperature, Tb. The difficulty in measuring Tb is that it is

predicted to be on the order of 20 to 100 mK, while the sky foreground is dominated

by synchrotron radiation that is 105 times brighter. The challenge is to subtract the much brighter foreground radiation without subtracting the Tb signal and can only be done when the data has small error levels.

The Experiment to Detect the Global EoR Signature (EDGES) is an effort to measure Tb with a single wide field-of-view well-calibrated antenna. This dissertation focuses on reducing systematic errors by quantifying the impact of the chromatic nature of the antenna’s beam directivity and by measuring the variability of the spectral index of the radio sky foreground. The chromatic beam study quantified the superior qualities of the rectangular blade-shaped antenna and led to its adoption over the previously used fourpoint-shaped antenna and determined that a 5 term polynomial was optimum for removing the foreground. The spectral index, β, of the sky was measured, using 211 nights of data, to be −2.60 > β > −2.62 in lower LST regions, increasing to −2.50 near the Galactic plane. This matched simulated results using the Guzm´an et al. (2011) sky map (∆β < 0.05) and demonstrated the exceptional stability of the EDGES instrument. Lastly, an EoR model by Kaurov & Gnedin (2016) was shown to be inconsistent with measured EDGES data at a significance level of 1.9.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Deep imaging of distant galaxies using the large binocular telescope

Description

In the past three decades with the deployment of space-based from x-rays to infrared telescopes and operation of 8-10 m class ground based telescopes, a hand-full of regions of the

In the past three decades with the deployment of space-based from x-rays to infrared telescopes and operation of 8-10 m class ground based telescopes, a hand-full of regions of the sky have emerged that probe the distant universe over relatively wide fields with the aim of understanding the assembly of apparently faint galaxies. To explore this new frontier, observations were made with the Large Binocular Cameras (LBCs) on the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) of a well-studied deep field, GOODS-North, which has been observed by a wide range of telescopes from the radio to x-ray. I present a study of the trade-off between depth and resolution using a large number of LBT/LBC U-band and R-band imaging observations in the GOODS-N field. Having acquired over 30 hours of data (315 images with 5-6 minute exposures) for U-band and 27 hours for R-band (828 images with 2 minute exposures), multiple mosaics were generated, starting with images taken under the best atmospheric conditions (FWHM <0.8"). For subsequent mosaics, data with coarser seeing values were added in until the final, deepest mosaic included all images with FWHM <1.8". For each mosaic, object catalogs were made to compare the optimal-resolution, yet shallower image to the low-resolution but deeper image. For the brightest galaxies within the GOODS-N field, structure and clumpy features within the galaxies are more prominent in the optimal-resolution image compared to the deeper mosaics. I conclude that for studies of brighter galaxies and features within them, the optimal-resolution image should be used. However, to fully explore and understand the faintest objects, the deeper imaging with lower resolution are also required. For the 220 and 360 brightest galaxies in the U-band and R-band images respectively, there is only a marginal difference between the optimal-resolution and lower-resolution light-profiles and their integrated total fluxes. This helps constrain how much flux can be missed in galaxy outskirts, which is important for studies of Extragalactic Background Light. Finally, I also comment on a collection of galaxies in the field with tidal tails and streams, diffuse plumes, and bridges.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018

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Markov chain Monte Carlo modeling of high-redshift quasar host galaxies in Hubble Space Telescope imaging

Description

Quasars, the visible phenomena associated with the active accretion phase of super- massive black holes found in the centers of galaxies, represent one of the most energetic processes in the

Quasars, the visible phenomena associated with the active accretion phase of super- massive black holes found in the centers of galaxies, represent one of the most energetic processes in the Universe. As matter falls into the central black hole, it is accelerated and collisionally heated, and the radiation emitted can outshine the combined light of all the stars in the host galaxy. Studies of quasar host galaxies at ultraviolet to near-infrared wavelengths are fundamentally limited by the precision with which the light from the central quasar accretion can be disentangled from the light of stars in the surrounding host galaxy. In this Dissertation, I discuss direct imaging of quasar host galaxies at redshifts z ≃ 2 and z ≃ 6 using new data obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. I describe a new method for removing the point source flux using Markov Chain Monte Carlo parameter estimation and simultaneous modeling of the point source and host galaxy. I then discuss applications of this method to understanding the physical properties of high-redshift quasar host galaxies including their structures, luminosities, sizes, and colors, and inferred stellar population properties such as age, mass, and dust content.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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The resolved stellar populations in nearby star-forming galaxies: M83, NGC 4214, and CGCG 269-049

Description

Understanding the properties and formation histories of individual stars in galaxies remains one of the most important areas in astrophysics. The impact of the Hubble Space Telescope<\italic> (HST<\italic>) has been

Understanding the properties and formation histories of individual stars in galaxies remains one of the most important areas in astrophysics. The impact of the Hubble Space Telescope<\italic> (HST<\italic>) has been revolutionary, providing deep observations of nearby galaxies at high resolution and unprecedented sensitivity over a wavelength range from near-ultraviolet to near-infrared. In this study, I use deep HST<\italic> imaging observations of three nearby star-forming galaxies (M83, NGC 4214, and CGCG 269-049) based on the HST<\italic> observations, in order to provide to construct color-magnitude and color-color diagrams of their resolved stellar populations. First, I select 50 regions in the spiral arm and inter-arm areas of M83, and determine the age distribution of the luminous stellar populations in each region. I developed an innovative method of star-by-star correction for internal extinction to improve stellar age and mass estimates. I compare the extinction-corrected ages of the 50 regions with those determined from several independent methods. The young stars are much more likely to be found in concentrated aggregates along spiral arms, while older stars are more dispersed. These results are consistent with a scenario where star formation is associated with the spiral arms, and stars form primarily in star clusters before dispersing on short timescales to form the field population. I address the effects of spatial resolution on the measured colors, magnitudes, and age estimates. While individual stars can occasionally show measurable differences in the colors and magnitudes, the age estimates for entire regions are only slightly affected. The same procedure is applied to nearby starbursting dwarf NGC 4214 to study the distributions of young and old stellar populations. Lastly, I describe the analysis of the HST<\italic> and Spitzer Space Telescope<\italic> observations of the extremely metal-poor dwarf galaxy (XMPG) CGCG 269-049 at a distance of 4.96 Mpc. This galaxy is one of the most metal-poor known with 12+log(O/H)=7.43. I find clear evidence for the presence of an old stellar population in CGCG~269-049, ruling out the possibility that this galaxy is forming its first generation of stars, as originally proposed for XMPGs. This comprehensive study of resolved stellar populations in three nearby galaxies provides detailed view of the current state of star formation and evolution of galaxies.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012