M. Massardi

University of Iceland, Reikiavik, Capital Region, Iceland

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Publications (138)282.3 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The ESA's Planck satellite, dedicated to studying the early Universe and its subsequent evolution, was launched 14 May 2009 and has been scanning the microwave and submillimetre sky continuously since 12 August 2009. This paper gives an overview of the mission and its performance, the processing, analysis, and characteristics of the data, the scientific results, and the science data products and papers in the release. The science products include maps of the CMB and diffuse extragalactic foregrounds, a catalogue of compact Galactic and extragalactic sources, and a list of sources detected through the SZ effect. The likelihood code used to assess cosmological models against the Planck data and a lensing likelihood are described. Scientific results include robust support for the standard six-parameter LCDM model of cosmology and improved measurements of its parameters, including a highly significant deviation from scale invariance of the primordial power spectrum. The Planck values for these parameters and others derived from them are significantly different from those previously determined. Several large-scale anomalies in the temperature distribution of the CMB, first detected by WMAP, are confirmed with higher confidence. Planck sets new limits on the number and mass of neutrinos, and has measured gravitational lensing of CMB anisotropies at greater than 25 sigma. Planck finds no evidence for non-Gaussianity in the CMB. Planck's results agree well with results from the measurements of baryon acoustic oscillations. Planck finds a lower Hubble constant than found in some more local measures. Some tension is also present between the amplitude of matter fluctuations derived from CMB data and that derived from SZ data. The Planck and WMAP power spectra are offset from each other by an average level of about 2% around the first acoustic peak.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 571(A1):1. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe the data processing pipeline of the Planck Low Frequency Instrument (LFI) data processing centre (DPC) to create and characterize full-sky maps based on the first 15.5 months of operations at 30, 44, and 70 GHz. In particular, we discuss the various steps involved in reducing the data, from telemetry packets through to the production of cleaned, calibrated timelines and calibrated frequency maps. Data are continuously calibrated using the modulation induced on the mean temperature of the cosmic microwave background radiation by the proper motion of the spacecraft. Sky signals other than the dipole are removed by an iterative procedure based on simultaneous fitting of calibration parameters and sky maps. Noise properties are estimated from time-ordered data after the sky signal has been removed, using a generalized least squares map-making algorithm. A destriping code (Madam) is employed to combine radiometric data and pointing information into sky maps, minimizing the variance of correlated noise. Noise covariance matrices, required to compute statistical uncertainties on LFI and Planck products, are also produced. Main beams are estimated down to the ≈−20 dB level using Jupiter transits, which are also used for the geometrical calibration of the focal plane.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 571(November 2014). · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents an all-sky model of dust emission from the Planck 857, 545 and 353 GHz, and IRAS 100 micron data. Using a modified black-body fit to the data we present all-sky maps of the dust optical depth, temperature, and spectral index over the 353-3000 GHz range. This model is a tight representation of the data at 5 arcmin. It shows variations of the order of 30 % compared with the widely-used model of Finkbeiner, Davis, and Schlegel. The Planck data allow us to estimate the dust temperature uniformly over the whole sky, providing an improved estimate of the dust optical depth compared to previous all-sky dust model, especially in high-contrast molecular regions. An increase of the dust opacity at 353 GHz, tau_353/N_H, from the diffuse to the denser interstellar medium (ISM) is reported. It is associated with a decrease in the observed dust temperature, T_obs, that could be due at least in part to the increased dust opacity. We also report an excess of dust emission at HI column densities lower than 10^20 cm^-2 that could be the signature of dust in the warm ionized medium. In the diffuse ISM at high Galactic latitude, we report an anti-correlation between tau_353/N_H and T_obs while the dust specific luminosity, i.e., the total dust emission integrated over frequency (the radiance) per hydrogen atom, stays about constant. The implication is that in the diffuse high-latitude ISM tau_353 is not as reliable a tracer of dust column density as we conclude it is in molecular clouds where the correlation of tau_353 with dust extinction estimated using colour excess measurements on stars is strong. To estimate Galactic E(B-V) in extragalactic fields at high latitude we develop a new method based on the thermal dust radiance, instead of the dust optical depth, calibrated to E(B-V) using reddening measurements of quasars deduced from Sloan Digital Sky Survey data.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 571(A11):1. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The dust-Hi correlation is used to characterize the emission properties of dust in the diffuse interstellar medium (ISM) from far infrared wavelengths to microwave frequencies. The field of this investigation encompasses the part of the southern sky best suited to study the cosmic infrared and microwave backgrounds. We cross-correlate sky maps from Planck, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), and the diffuse infrared background experiment (DIRBE), at 17 frequencies from 23 to 3000 GHz, with the Parkes survey of the 21 cm line emission of neutral atomic hydrogen, over a contiguous area of 7500 deg2 centred on the southern Galactic pole. We present a general methodology to study the dust-H i correlation over the sky, including simulations to quantify uncertainties. Our analysis yields four specific results. (1) We map the temperature, submillimetre emissivity, and opacity of the dust per H-atom. The dust temperature is observed to be anti-correlated with the dust emissivity and opacity. We interpret this result as evidence of dust evolution within the diffuse ISM. The mean dust opacity is measured to be (7.1 ± 0.6) × 10−27 cm2 H−1 × (ν/353 GHz)1.53 ± 0.03 for 100 ≤ ν ≤ 353 GHz. This is a reference value to estimate hydrogen column densities from dust emission at submillimetre and millimetre wavelengths. (2) We map the spectral index βmm of dust emission at millimetre wavelengths (defined here as ν ≤ 353GHz), and find it to be remarkably constant at βmm = 1.51 ± 0.13. We compare it with the far infrared spectral index βFIR derived from greybody fits at higher frequencies, and find a systematic difference, βmm −βFIR = −0.15, which suggests that the dust spectral energy distribution (SED) flattens at ν ≤ 353 GHz. (3) We present spectral fits of the microwave emission correlated with Hi from 23 to 353 GHz, which separate dust and anomalous microwave emission (AME). We show that the flattening of the dust SED can be accounted for with an additional component with a blackbody spectrum. This additional component, which accounts for (26 ± 6)% of the dust emission at 100GHz, could represent magnetic dipole emission. Alternatively, it could account for an increasing contribution of carbon dust, or a flattening of the emissivity of amorphous silicates, at millimetre wavelengths. These interpretations make different predictions for the dust polarization SED. (4) We analyse the residuals of the dust-Hi correlation. We identify a Galactic contribution to these residuals, which we model with variations of the dust emissivity on angular scales smaller than that of our correlation analysis. This model of the residuals is used to quantify uncertainties of the CIB power spectrum in a companion Planck paper.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2014; 566(A55):1. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a project aimed at realizing an Italian aperture array demonstrator constituted by prototypical Vivaldi antennas designed to operate at radio frequencies below 500 MHz. We focus on an array composed of a core plus a few satellite phased-array stations to be installed at the Sardinia Radio Telescope (SRT) site. The antenna elements are mobile and thus it will be possible to investigate the performance in terms of both uv-coverage and synthesized resolution resulting from different configurations of the array.
    SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation; 07/2014
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    ABSTRACT: Dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies are one of the most common type of galaxy in the Universe. They are crucial objects for near-field cosmology, especially for the study of galaxy formation and evolution at small scales. In addition, dSphs are optimal targets to study the nature of dark matter. However, while we begin to have very deep optical photometric observations of the stellar population in these objects, little is known so far about their diffuse emission at any observing frequency, and hence on the population of thermal and non-thermal plasma possibly residing within these structures. In this paper, we present deep radio observations of six local dSphs performed with the Australia Telescope Compact Array at 16 cm wavelength. We mapped a region of radius of about one degree around three "classical" dSphs, Carina, Fornax, and Sculptor, and of about half of degree around three "ultra-faint" dSphs, BootesII, Segue2, and Hercules. The rms noise level is below 0.05 mJy for all the maps. A catalogue including the 1392 sources detected in the six dSph fields is reported. The main properties of the background sources are discussed, with positions and fluxes of brightest objects compared with the FIRST, NVSS, and SUMSS observations of the same fields. The observed population of radio emitters in these fields is dominated by synchrotron sources. We compute the associated source number counts at 2 GHz down to fluxes of 0.25 mJy, which prove to be in agreement with AGN count models.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: We performed a deep search for radio synchrotron emissions induced by weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) annihilation or decay in six dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies of the Local Group. Observations were conducted with the Australia Telescope Compact Array (ATCA) at 16 cm wavelength, with an rms sensitivity better than 0.05 mJy/beam in each field. In this work, we first discuss the uncertainties associated with the modeling of the expected signal, such as the shape of the dark matter (DM) profile and the dSph magnetic properties. We then investigate the possibility that point-sources detected in the proximity of the dSph optical center might be due to the emission from a DM cuspy profile. No evidence for an extended emission over a size of few arcmin (which is the DM halo size) has been detected. We present the associated bounds on the WIMP parameter space for different annihilation/decay final states and for different astrophysical assumptions. If the confinement of electrons and positrons in the dSph is such that the majority of their power is radiated within the dSph region, we obtain constraints on the WIMP annihilation rate which are well below the thermal value for masses up to few TeV. On the other hand, for conservative assumptions on the dSph magnetic properties, the bounds can be dramatically relaxed. We show however that, within the next 10 years and regardless of the astrophysical assumptions, it will be possible to progressively close in on the full parameter space of WIMPs by searching for radio signals in dSphs with SKA and its precursors.
    Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 07/2014; 2014(10). · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse radio emission in the interstellar medium of dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxies is an important aspect of the role of dwarf galaxies in the magnetization of the intracluster and inter-galactic medium in the early universe, competing with AGNs and starburst galaxy activity. The current quiescent phase of Local Group dSphs has so far dampened the possibility of measuring their non-thermal emissions and in turn of fully understanding connected aspects of dSph properties and evolution. Deep observations are required in order to probe the emission associated to the very-low level of dSph star formation or, possibly, to particle dark matter annihilating or decaying in the dSph halo. In this work, we employ radio observations of six local dSphs to test the presence of a diffuse component over typical scales of few arcmin. The dSph targets require wide-field low-frequency observations which were conducted with the Australia Telescope Compact Array in the frequency band 1.1-3.1 GHz. The achieved rms sensitivity is below 0.05 mJy/beam. We observed the dSph fields with both a compact array and long baselines. The high-resolution data were used to map small-scale background sources which were then subtracted to significantly reduce the confusion limit of the short-baseline maps. The latter were used for the extended emission search and have a synthesized beam of about 1 arcmin. We found no significant detection of a diffuse radio continuum component. After a detailed discussion on the modeling of the cosmic-ray (CR) electron distribution and on the dSph magnetic properties, we present bounds on several physical quantities related to the dSphs, such that the total radio flux, the angular shape of the radio emissivity, the equipartition magnetic field, and the injection and equilibrium distributions of CR electrons. Finally, we discuss the connection to far-infrared and X-ray observations.
    07/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Planck data when combined with ancillary data provide a unique opportunity to separate the diffuse emission components of the inner Galaxy. The purpose of the paper is to elucidate the morphology of the various emission components in the strong star-formation region lying inside the solar radius and to clarify the relationship between the various components. The region of the Galactic plane covered is l=300-0-60deg where star-formation is highest and the emission is strong enough to make meaningful component separation. The latitude widths in this longitude range lie between 1deg and 2deg, which correspond to FWHM z-widths of 100-200pc at a typical distance of 6kpc. The four emission components studied here are synchrotron, free-free, anomalous microwave emission (AME), and thermal (vibrational) dust emission. These components are identified by constructing spectral energy distributions (SEDs) at positions along the Galactic plane using the wide frequency coverage of Planck (28.4-857GHz) in combination with low-frequency radio data at 0.408-2.3GHz plus WMAP data at 23-94GHz, along with far-infrared (FIR) data from DIRBE and IRAS. The free-free component is determined from radio recombination line (RRL) data. AME is found to be comparable in brightness to the free-free emission on the Galactic plane in the frequency range 20-40GHz with a width in latitude similar to that of the thermal dust; it comprises 45+/-1% of the total 28.4GHz emission in the longitude range l=300-0-60deg. The free-free component is the narrowest, reflecting the fact that it is produced by current star-formation as traced by the narrow distribution of OB stars. It is the dominant emission on the plane between 60 and 100GHz. RRLs from this ionized gas are used to assess its distance, leading to a free-free z-width of FWHM ~100pc...(abridged)
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Very long baseline interferometry at millimetre/submillimetre wavelengths (mmVLBI) offers the highest achievable spatial resolution at any wavelength in astronomy. The anticipated inclusion of ALMA as a phased array into a global VLBI network will bring unprecedented sensitivity and a transformational leap in capabilities for mmVLBI. Building on years of pioneering efforts in the US and Europe the ongoing ALMA Phasing Project (APP), a US-led international collaboration with MPIfR-led European contributions, is expected to deliver a beamformer and VLBI capability to ALMA by the end of 2014 (APP: Fish et al. 2013, arXiv:1309.3519). This report focuses on the future use of mmVLBI by the international users community from a European viewpoint. Firstly, it highlights the intense science interest in Europe in future mmVLBI observations as compiled from the responses to a general call to the European community for future research projects. A wide range of research is presented that includes, amongst others: - Imaging the event horizon of the black hole at the centre of the Galaxy - Testing the theory of General Relativity an/or searching for alternative theories - Studying the origin of AGN jets and jet formation - Cosmological evolution of galaxies and BHs, AGN feedback - Masers in the Milky Way (in stars and star-forming regions) - Extragalactic emission lines and astro-chemistry - Redshifted absorption lines in distant galaxies and study of the ISM and circumnuclear gas - Pulsars, neutron stars, X-ray binaries - Testing cosmology - Testing fundamental physical constants
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Anomalous microwave emission (AME) is believed to be due to electric dipole radiation from small spinning dust grains. The aim of this paper is a statistical study of the basic properties of AME regions and the environment in which they emit. We used WMAP and Planck maps, combined with ancillary radio and IR data, to construct a sample of 98 candidate AME sources, assembling SEDs for each source using aperture photometry on 1 deg-smoothed maps from 0.408 GHz up to 3000 GHz. Each spectrum is fitted with a simple model of free-free, synchrotron (where necessary), cosmic microwave background (CMB), thermal dust, and spinning dust components. We find that 42 of the 98 sources have significant >5sigma excess emission at frequencies between 20 and 60 GHz. An analysis of the potential contribution of optically thick free-free emission from ultra-compact HII regions, using IR colour criteria, reduces the significant AME sample to 28 regions. The spectrum of the AME is consistent with model spectra of spinning dust. Peak frequencies are in the range 20-35 GHz except for the California Nebula (NGC1499), which appears to have a high spinning dust peak frequency of 50+/-17 GHz. The AME regions tend to be more spatially extended than regions with little or no AME. The AME intensity is strongly correlated with the sub-millimetre/IR flux densities and comparable to previous AME detections in the literature. AME emissivity, defined as the ratio of AME to dust optical depth, varies by an order of magnitude for the AME regions. The AME regions tend to be associated with cooler dust in the range 14-22 K and an average emissivity index, beta of +1.8, while the non-AME regions are typically warmer, at 20-30 K, and have a slightly flatter emissivity index of +1.7. In agreement with previous studies, the AME emissivity appears to decrease with increasing column density...(abridged)
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 05/2014; 565(A103):1. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Late stages of stellar evolution are characterized by copious mass-loss events whose signature is the formation of circumstellar envelopes (CSE). Planck multi frequency measurements have provided relevant information on a sample of Galactic planetary nebulae (PNe) in this important and relatively unexplored observational band between 30 and 857GHz. Planck enables the assembly of comprehensive PNe spectral energy distributions (SEDs) from radio through to far-infrared frequencies. Modelling of the derived SEDs provides us with information on physical properties of CSEs and the mass content of both main components: ionized gas, traced by the free-free emission at cm mm waves; and thermal dust, traced by the millimetre and far IR emission. In particular, the amount of ionized gas and dust has been derived here. Such quantities have also been estimated for the very young PN CRL618, where the strong variability observed in its radio and millimetre emission has previously prevented the construction of its SED. A morphological study of the Helix Nebula has also been performed. Planck maps reveal, for the first time, the spatial distribution of the dust inside the envelope, allowing us to identify different components, the most interesting of which is a very extended component (up to 1 pc) that may be related to a region where the slow expanding envelope is interacting with the surrounding interstellar medium. Moreover, in this object, thermal dust and H2 emission appear to be spatially correlated, providing hints of H2 formation on dust grain surfaces.
    03/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Planck's all-sky surveys at 30-857 GHz provide an unprecedented opportunity to follow the radio spectra of a large sample of extragalactic sources to frequencies 2-20 times higher than allowed by past, large-area, ground-based surveys. We combine the results of the Planck Early Release Compact Source Catalog (ERCSC) with quasi-simultaneous ground-based observations as well as archival data at frequencies below or overlapping Planck frequency bands, to validate the astrometry and photometry of the ERCSC radio sources and study the spectral features shown in this new frequency window opened by Planck. The ERCSC source positions and flux density scales are found to be consistent with the ground-based observations. We present and discuss the spectral energy distributions of a sample of "extreme" radio sources, to illustrate the richness of the ERCSC for the study of extragalactic radio sources. Variability is found to play a role in the unusual spectral features of some of these sources.
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    ABSTRACT: PRISM (Polarized Radiation Imaging and Spectroscopy Mission) was proposed to ESA in May 2013 as a large-class mission for investigating within the framework of the ESA Cosmic Vision program a set of important scienti�c questions that require high resolution, high sensitivity, full-sky observations of the sky emission at wavelengths ranging from millimeter-wave to the far-infrared. PRISM 's main objective is to explore the distant universe, probing cosmic history from very early times until now as well as the structures, distribution of matter, and velocity ows throughout our Hubble volume. PRISM will survey the full sky in a large number of frequency bands in both intensity and polarization and will measure the absolute spectrum of sky emission more than three orders of magnitude better than COBE FIRAS. The data obtained will allow us to precisely measure the absolute sky brightness and polarization of all the components of the sky emission in the observed frequency range, separating the primordial and extragalactic components cleanly from the galactic and zodiacal light emissions. The aim of this Extended White Paper is to provide a more detailed overview of the highlights of the new science that will be made possible by PRISM, which include: (1) the ultimate galaxy cluster survey using the Sunyaev-Zeldovich (SZ) e�ect, detecting approximately 106 clusters extending to large redshift, including a characterization of the gas temperature of the brightest ones (through the relativistic corrections to the classic SZ template) as well as a peculiar velocity survey using the kinetic SZ e�ect that comprises our entire Hubble volume; (2) a detailed characterization of the properties and evolution of dusty galaxies, where the most of the star formation in the universe took place, the faintest population of which constitute the di�use CIB (Cosmic Infrared Background); (3) a characterization of the B modes from primordial gravity waves generated during inflation and from gravitational lensing, as well as the ultimate search for primordial non-Gaussianity using CMB polarization, which is less contaminated by foregrounds on small scales than the temperature anisotropies; (4) a search for distortions from a perfect blackbody spectrum, which include some nearly certain signals and others that are more speculative but more informative; and (5) a study of the role of the magnetic field in star formation and its interaction with other components of the interstellar medium of our Galaxy. These are but a few of the highlights presented here along with a description of the proposed instrument.
    Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics 02/2014; 2014(2):1. · 6.04 Impact Factor
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    jcap. 02/2014; 2:6.
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    ABSTRACT: The SS PACO sample comprises all the 69 sources with S20GHz>200mJy and spectra classified in the AT20G catalogue (Massardi et al. 2011MNRAS.412..318M) as inverted or upturning in the frequency range 4.8-20GHz, selected over the whole Southern sky. These sources have been re-observed for the PACO project between 2009 September and 2010 February, with a scheduling process optimized to allow observations at all the frequencies almost simultaneous (i.e. within 10 d) with the Planck satellite.(2 data files).
    12/2013;

Publication Stats

503 Citations
282.30 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2012
    • University of Iceland
      • Science Institute
      Reikiavik, Capital Region, Iceland
  • 2011
    • University of Tasmania
      Hobart Town, Tasmania, Australia
    • Swinburne University of Technology
      • Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    • Raman Research Institute
      Bengalūru, Karnātaka, India
  • 2004–2011
    • The Astronomical Observatory of Brera
      Merate, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2009
    • The University of Calgary
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Calgary, Alberta, Canada