Orbits in elementary, power-law galaxy bars: 1. Occurence and role of single loops [GA]


Orbits in galaxy bars are generally complex, but simple closed loop orbits play an important role in our conceptual understanding of bars. Such orbits are found in some well-studied potentials, provide a simple model of the bar in themselves, and may generate complex orbit families. The precessing, power ellipse (p-ellipse) orbit approximation provides accurate analytic orbit orbits in symmetric galaxy potentials. It remains useful for finding and fitting simple loop orbits in the frame of a rotating bar with bar-like and symmetric power-law potentials. Second order perturbation theory yields two or fewer simple loop solutions in these potentials. Numerical integrations in the parameter space neighborhood of perturbation solutions reveal zero or one ac- tual loops in a range of such potentials with rising rotation curves. These loops are embedded in a small parameter region of similar, but librating orbits, which have a subharmonic frequency superimposed on the basic loop. These loops and their librat- ing companions support annular bars. Solid bars can be produced in more complex potentials, as shown by an example with power-law indices varying with radius. The power-law potentials can be viewed as the elementary constituents of more complex potentials. Numerical integrations also reveal interesting classes of orbits with multiple loops. In two-dimensional, self-gravitating bars, with power-law potentials, single loop orbits are very rare. This result suggests that gas bars or oval distortions are unlikely to be long-lived, and that complex orbits or three-dimensional structure must support self-gravitating stellar bars.

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C. Struck
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 16 pos., 8 figs., MNRAS accepted

CHANG-ES XI: Circular Polarization in the Cores of Nearby Galaxies [GA]


We detect 5 galaxies in the CHANG-ES (Continuum Halos in Nearby Galaxies — an EVLA Survey) sample that show circular polarization (CP) at L-band in our high resolution data sets. Two of the galaxies (NGC~4388 and NGC~4845) show strong Stokes $V/I\,\equiv\,m_C\,\sim\,2$\%, two (NGC~660 and NGC~3628) have values of $m_C\sim \,0.3$\%, and NGC~3079 is a marginal detection at $m_C\sim \,0.2$\%. The two strongest $m_C$ galaxies also have the most luminous X-ray cores and the strongest internal absorption in X-rays. We have expanded on our previous Faraday conversion interpretation and analysis and provide analytical expressions for the expected $V$ signal for a general case in which the cosmic ray electron energy spectral index can take on any value. We provide examples as to how such expressions could be used to estimate magnetic field strengths and the lower energy cutoff for CR electrons. Four out of our detections are {\it resolved}, showing unique structures, including a {\it jet} in NGC~4388 and a CP `conversion disk’ in NGC~4845. The conversion disk is inclined to the galactic disk but is perpendicular to a possible outflow direction. Such CP structures have never before been seen in any galaxy to our knowledge. None of the galaxy cores show linear polarization at L-band. Thus CP may provide a unique probe of physical conditions deep into radio AGNs.

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J. Irwin, R. Henriksen, M. Wezgowiec, et. al.
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: 30 pages, 4 figures, accepted to MNRAS

The Influence of Galaxy Environment on the Stellar Initial Mass Function of Early-Type Galaxies [GA]


In this paper we investigate whether the stellar initial mass function of early-type galaxies depends on their host environment. To this purpose, we have selected a sample of early-type galaxies from the SPIDER catalogue, characterized their environment through the group catalogue of Wang et al. and used their optical SDSS spectra to constrain the IMF slope, through the analysis of IMF-sensitive spectral indices. To reach a high enough signal-to-noise ratio, we have stacked spectra in velocity dispersion ($\sigma_0$) bins, on top of separating the sample by galaxy hierarchy and host halo mass, as proxies for galaxy environment. In order to constrain the IMF, we have compared observed line strengths to predictions of MIUSCAT/EMILES synthetic stellar population models, with varying age, metallicity, and “bimodal” (low-mass tapered) IMF slope ($\rm \Gamma_b$). Consistent with previous studies, we find that $\rm \Gamma_b$ increases with $\sigma_0$, becoming bottom-heavy (i.e. an excess of low-mass stars with respect to the Milky-Way-like IMF) at high $\sigma_0$. We find that this result is robust against the set of isochrones used in the stellar population models, as well as the way the effect of elemental abundance ratios is taken into account. We thus conclude that it is possible to use currently state-of-the-art stellar population models and intermediate resolution spectra to consistently probe IMF variations. For the first time, we show that there is no dependence of $\Gamma_b$ on environment or galaxy hierarchy, as measured within the $3″$ SDSS fibre, thus leaving the IMF as an intrinsic galaxy property, possibly set already at high redshift.

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G. Rosani, A. Pasquali, F. Barbera, et. al.
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: N/A

ALMA view of a massive spheroid progenitor: a compact rotating core of molecular gas in an AGN host at z=2.226 [GA]


We present ALMA observations at 107.291 GHz (band 3) and 214.532 GHz (band 6) of GMASS 0953, a star-forming galaxy at z=2.226 hosting an obscured AGN that has been proposed as a progenitor of compact quiescent galaxies (QG). We measure for the first time the size of the dust and molecular gas emission of GMASS 0953 that we find to be extremely compact ($\sim$1 kpc). This result, coupled with a very high ISM density (n$\sim$10$^{5.5}$ cm$^{-3}$), a low gas mass fraction ($\sim$0.2) and a short gas depletion timescale ($\sim$150 Myr) imply that GMASS 0953 is experiencing an episode of intense star-formation in its central region that will rapidly exhaust its gas reservoirs, likely aided by AGN-induced feedback, confirming its fate as a compact QG. Kinematic analysis of the CO(6-5) line shows evidence of rapidly-rotating gas ($V_{rot}$=320$^{+92}_{-53}$ km s$^{-1}$), as observed also in a handful of similar sources at the same redshift. On-going quenching mechanisms could either destroy the rotation or leave it intact leading the galaxy to evolve into a rotating QG.

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M. Talia, F. Pozzi, L. Vallini, et. al.
Tue, 20 Feb 18

Comments: MNRAS in press, 8 pages, 8 figures

Obscured star-formation in bright z ~ 7 Lyman-break galaxies [GA]


We present Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array observations of the rest-frame far-infrared (FIR) dust continuum emission of six bright Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) at $z \simeq 7$. The average FIR luminosity of the sample is found to be $L_{\rm FIR} \simeq 2 \times 10^{11}\,{\rm L}{\odot}$, corresponding to an obscured star-formation rate (SFR) that is comparable to that inferred from the unobscured UV emission. In comparison to the infrared excess (IRX$\,=L{\rm FIR}/L_{\rm UV}$)-$\beta$ relation, our results are consistent with a Calzetti-like attenuation law (assuming a dust temperature of T = 40-50 K). We find a physical offset of 3 kpc between the dust continuum emission and the rest-frame UV light probed by Hubble Space Telescope imaging for galaxy ID65666 at $z = 7.17^{+0.09}{-0.06}$. The offset is suggestive of an inhomogeneous dust distribution, where 75% of the total star formation activity (SFR$ \,\simeq 70\,{\rm M}{\odot}/{\rm yr}$) of the galaxy is completely obscured. Our results provide direct evidence that dust obscuration plays a key role in shaping the bright-end of the observed rest-frame UV luminosity function at $z \simeq 7$, in agreement with cosmological galaxy formation simulations. The existence of a heavily-obscured component of galaxy ID65666 indicates that dusty star-forming regions, or even entire galaxies, that are “UV-dark” are significant even in the $z \simeq 7$ galaxy population.

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R. Bowler, N. Bourne, J. Dunlop, et. al.
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: 12 pages, 6 figure, 3 tables

The mid-infrared properties and gas content of active galaxies over large look-back times [GA]


Upon an expansion of all of the searches for redshifted HI 21-cm absorption (0.0021 < z 5.19), we update recent results regarding the detection of 21-cm in the non-local Universe. Specifically, we confirm that photo-ionisation of the gas is the mostly likely cause of the low detection rate at high redshift, in addition to finding that at z < 0.1 there may also be a decrease in the detection rate, which we suggest is due to the dilution of the absorption strength by 21-cm emission. By assuming that associated and intervening absorbers have similar cosmological mass densities, we find evidence that the spin temperature of the gas evolves with redshift, consistent with heating by ultra-violet photons. From the near–infrared (3.4, 4.6 and 12 micron) colours, we see that radio galaxies become more quasar-like in their activity with increasing redshift. We also find that the non-detection of 21-cm absorption at high redshift is not likely to be due to the selection of gas-poor ellipticals, in addition to a strong correlation between the ionising photon rate and the [3.4] – [4.6] colour, indicating that the UV photons arise from AGN activity. Like previous studies, we find a correlation between the detection of 21-cm absorption and the [4.6] – [12] colour, which is a tracer of star-forming activity. However, this only applies at the lowest redshifts (z < 0.1), the range considered by the other studies.

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S. Curran and S. Duchesne
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: Accepted by MNRAS

Characterization of methanol as a magnetic field tracer in star-forming regions [GA]


Magnetic fields play an important role during star formation. Direct magnetic field strength observations have proven specifically challenging in the extremely dynamic protostellar phase. Because of their occurrence in the densest parts of star forming regions, masers, through polarization observations, are the main source of magnetic field strength and morphology measurements around protostars. Of all maser species, methanol is one of the strongest and most abundant tracers of gas around high-mass protostellar disks and in outflows. However, as experimental determination of the magnetic characteristics of methanol has remained largely unsuccessful, a robust magnetic field strength analysis of these regions could hitherto not be performed. Here we report a quantitative theoretical model of the magnetic properties of methanol, including the complicated hyperfine structure that results from its internal rotation. We show that the large range in values of the Land\'{e} g-factors of the hyperfine components of each maser line lead to conclusions which differ substantially from the current interpretation based on a single effective g-factor. These conclusions are more consistent with other observations and confirm the presence of dynamically important magnetic fields around protostars. Additionally, our calculations show that (non-linear) Zeeman effects must be taken into account to further enhance the accuracy of cosmological electron-to-proton mass ratio determinations using methanol.

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B. Lankhaar, W. Vlemmings, G. Surcis, et. al.
Mon, 19 Feb 18

Comments: 23 pages, 3 figures, excluding Supplementary information. Author manuscript version before editorial/copyediting by Nature Astronomy. Journal version available via this http URL . Supplementary material available via this https URL