J. Alikakos

University of Patras, Rhion, West Greece, Greece

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Publications (12)43.15 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: During an [O III] survey for planetary nebulae, we identified a region in Sagittarius containing several candidate Supernova Remnants and obtained deep optical narrow-band images and spectra to explore their nature. The images of the unstudied area have been obtained in the light of Halpha+[N II], [S II] and [O III]. The resulting mosaic covers an area of 1.4x1.0 deg^2 where filamentary and diffuse emission was discovered, suggesting the existence of more than one supernova remnants (SNRs) in the area. Deep long slit spectra were also taken of eight different regions. Both the flux calibrated images and the spectra show that the emission from the filamentary structures originates from shock-heated gas, while the photo-ionization mechanism is responsible for the diffuse emission. Part of the optical emission is found to be correlated with the radio at 4850 MHz suggesting their association, while the WISE infrared emission found in the area at 12 and 22 micron marginally correlates with the optical. The presence of the [O III] emission line in one of the candidate SNRs suggests shock velocities into the interstellar "clouds" between 120 and 200 km/s, while the absence in the other indicates slower shock velocities. For all candidate remnants the [S II] 6716/6731 ratio indicates electron densities below 240 cm^{-3}, while the Halpha emission has been measured to be between 0.6 to 41x10^{-17} erg/s/cm^2/arcsec^2. The existence of eight pulsars within 1.5deg away from the center of the candidate SNRs also supports the scenario of many SNRs in the area as well as that the detected optical emission could be part of a number of supernovae explosions.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2012; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present new B, V, R, Halpha and [O III] images of galactic and extragalactic objects taken with the Aristarchos telescope during 2010 and 2011. The telescope is in full functional mode, currently with the imaging CCD cameras (LN 1kx1k, 2kx2k), the ATS low/medium resolution spectrometer and the RISE2 exoplanet fast imager, while the commissioning of more instruments (VEC 4kx4k CCD, MES-AT echelle spectrometer) is in progress.
    01/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: Deep optical CCD images of a large unknown area have been obtained in the through Halpha+[N II], [O III] and [S II] filters. The resulting mosaic covers an area of 1.4 × 1.0 deg2 where filamentary and diffuse emission was discovered, suggesting the existence of more than one supernova remnants (SNRs) in the area. Deep long slit spectra were also taken at eight different regions. Both the flux calibrated images and the spectra show that the emission of the filamentary structures originates from shock-heated gas, while photo-ionization mechanism is responsible for the diffuse emission. In most cases, the optical emission is found to be well correlated with the radio at 1420 MHz and 4850 MHz, suggesting their association. The presence of the [O III] 5007 emission line in one of the candidate SNRs suggests shock velocities into the interstellar ``clouds'' of >100 km s-1 while the absence in the other indicates slower shock velocities. For all candidate remnants the [S II] lambdalambda 6716/6731 ratio indicates electron densities below 270 cm-3, while the Halpha emission has been measured to be between 0.6 to 41×10-17 erg s-1 cm-2 arcsec-2. The detected optical emission could be part of a number of supernovae explosions and the possibility that it is within an OB association can not be ruled out.
    07/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: Deep optical CCD images of the supernova remnant G 32.8-0.1 were obtained where filamentary and diffuse emission was discovered. The images were acquired in the emission lines of Halpha+[N II] and [S II]. Filamentary and diffuse structures are detected in most areas of the remnant, while no significant [O III] emission is present. The flux-calibrated images suggest that the optical emission originates from shock-heated gas since the [S II]/Halpha ratio is greater than 1.2. The Spitzer images at 8 micron and 24 micron show a few filamentary structures to be correlated with the optical filaments, while the radio emission at 1.4 GHz in the same area is found to be very well correlated with the brightest optical filaments. Furthermore, the results from deep long-slit spectra also support the origin of the emission to be from shock-heated gas ([S II]/Halpha > 1.5). The absence of [O III] emission indicates slow shocks velocities into the interstellar "clouds" (< 100 km/s), while the [S II] 6716/6731 ratio indicates electron densities up to ~200 cm^{-3}. Finally, the Halpha emission is measured to lie between 1.8 to 4.6 x 10^{-17} erg/s/cm^2/arcsec^2, while from VGPS HI images a distance to the SNR is estimated to be between 6 to 8.5 kpc.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 04/2009; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Deep optical CCD images of the supernova remnant G 15.1-1.6 were obtained and filamentary and diffuse emission has been discovered. The images, taken in the emission lines of Halpha+[N II], [S II] and [O III], reveal filamentary and diffuse structures all around the remnant. The radio emission at 4850 MHz in the same area is found to be well correlated with the brightest optical filaments. The IRAS 60 micron emission may also be correlated with the optical emission but to a lesser extent. The flux calibrated images suggest that the optical emission originates from shock-heated gas ([S II]/Halpha > 0.4), while there is a possible HII region ([S II]/Halpha ~0.3) contaminating the supernova remnant's emission to the east. Furthermore, deep long-slit spectra were taken at two bright filaments and also show that the emission originates from shock heated gas. An [O III] filamentary structure has also been detected further to the west but it lies outside the remnant's boundaries and possibly is not associated to it. The [O III] flux suggests shock velocities into the interstellar "clouds" ~100 km/s, while the [S II] 6716/6731 ratio indicates electron densities up to ~250 cm^{-3}. Finally, the Halpha emission has been measured to be between 2 to 7 x 10^{-16} erg/s/cm^2/arcsec^2, while the lower limit to the distance is estimated at 2.2 kpc. Comment: 12 pages, 6 figures, 3 tables. Accepted for pubication in A&A
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 01/2008; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Four mosaics of deep, continuum-subtracted, CCD images have been obtained over the extensive Galactic radio continuum shell, W50, which surrounds the remarkable stellar system SS 433. Two of these mosaics in the and [O iii] 5007 Å emission lines, respectively, cover a field of which contains all of W50 but at a low angular resolution of 5 arcsec. The third and fourth mosaics cover the eastern (in [O iii] 5007 Å) and western (in 6548, 6584 Å) filamentary nebulosity, respectively, but at an angular resolution of 1 arcsec. These observations are supplemented by new low-dispersion spectra and long-slit, spatially resolved echelle spectra. The [O iii] 5007 Å images show for the first time the distribution of this emission in both the eastern and western filaments while new emission features are also found in both of these regions. Approaching flows of faintly emitting material from the bright eastern filaments of up 100 km s−1 in radial velocity are detected. The present observations also suggest that the heliocentric systemic radial velocity of the whole system is 56 ± 2 km s−1. Furthermore, very deep imagery and high-resolution spectroscopy of a small part of the northern radio ridge of W50 has revealed for the first time the very faint optical nebulosity associated with this edge. It is suggested that patchy foreground dust along the ≈5 kpc sightline is inhibiting the detection of all of the optical nebulosity associated with W50. The interaction of the microquasar jets of SS 433 with the W50 shell is discussed.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 10/2007; 381(1):308 - 318. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galactic dust constitutes approximately half of the elements more massive than helium produced in stellar nucleosynthesis. Notwithstanding the formation of dust grains in the dense, cool atmospheres of late-type stars, there still remain huge uncertainties concerning the origin and fate of galactic stardust. In this paper, we identify the intergalactic medium (i.e. the region between gravitationally-bound galaxies) as a major sink for galactic dust. We discover a systematic shift in the colour of background galaxies viewed through the intergalactic medium of the nearby M81 group. This reddening coincides with atomic, neutral gas previously detected between the group members. The dust-to-HI mass ratio is high (1/20) compared to that of the solar neighborhood (1/120) suggesting that the dust originates from the centre of one or more of the galaxies in the group. Indeed, M82, which is known to be ejecting dust and gas in a starburst-driven superwind, is cited as the probable main source.
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2006; 651(2). · 6.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present time-resolved photometry of five relatively poorly-studied cataclysmic variables: V1193 Ori, LQ Peg, LD 317, V795 Her, and MCT 2347-3144. The observations were made using four 1m-class telescopes for a total of more than 250 h of observation and almost 16,000 data points. For LQ Peg WHT spectroscopic data have been analysed as well. The light curves show a wide range of variability on different time scales from minutes to months. We detect for the first time a brightness variation of 0.05 mag in amplitude in V1193 Ori on the same timescale as the orbital period, which we interpret as the result of the irradiation of the secondary. A 20-min quasi-periodic oscillation is also detected. The mean brightness of the system has changed by 0.5 mag on a three-month interval, while the flickering was halved. In LQ Peg a 0.05 mag modulation was revealed with a period of about 3 h. The flickering was much smaller, of the order of 0.025 mag. A possible quasi-periodic oscillation could exist near 30 min. For this object, the WHT spectra are single-peaked and do not show any radial-velocity variations. The data of LD 317 show a decrease in the mean magnitude of the system. No periodic signal was detected but this is certainly attributable to the very large flickering observed: between 0.07 and 0.1 mag. For V795 Her, the 2.8-hour modulation, thought to be a superhump arising from the precession of the disc, is present. We show that this modulation is not stable in terms of periodicity, amplitude, and phase. Finally, for MCT 2347-3144, a clear modulation is seen in a first dataset obtained in October 2002. This modulation is absent in August 2003, when the system was brighter and showed much more flickering.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 06/2006; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: tablea1.dat describes the observing log. We have performed photometric observations of five relatively poorly-studied cataclysmic variables: V1193 Ori, LQ Peg, LD 317, V795 Her and MCT 2347-3144. For each target, we give the UT dates it was observed, the site where the observations took place, the Heliocentric Julian Date at the beginning of each observing night, the total duration of each run and which filter, if any, was used. table1.dat shows (for V1193 Ori, LD 317 and MCT 2347-3144) the mean nightly magnitude of each CV along with the variation of the difference between two comparison stars. figA2.dat-figA6.dat give the light curves of V1193 Ori, LQ Peg, LD 317, V795 Her and MCT 2347-3144, respectively. In figA3.dat, figA4.dat and figA5.dat the magnitude is in arbitrary units. (7 data files).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 03/2006;
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    ABSTRACT: We have observed S5 2007+777 and 3C 371 in the $B$ and $I$ bands for 13 and 8 nights, respectively, during various observing runs in 2001, 2002 and 2004. The observations resulted in almost evenly sampled light curves, $6{-}9$ h long. We do not detect any flares within the observed light curves, but we do observe small amplitude, significant variations, in both bands, on time scales of hours and days. The average variability amplitude on time scales of minutes/hours is ~$2.5$% and ~$1{-}1.5$% in the case of S5 2007+777 and 3C 371, respectively. The average amplitudes increase to $\sim 5{-}12$% and $\sim 4{-}6$%, respectively, on time scales of days. We find that the $B$ and $I$ band variations are highly correlated, on both short and long time scales. During the 2004 observations, which resulted in the longest light curves, we observe two well defined flux-decay and rising trends in the light curves of both objects. When the flux decays, we observe significant delays, with the $B$ band flux decaying faster than the flux in the $I$ band. As a result, we also observe significant, flux related spectral variations as well. The flux-spectral relation is rather complicated, with loop-like structures forming during the flux evolution. The presence of spectral variations imply that the observed variability is not caused by geometric effects. On the other hand, our results are fully consistent with the hypothesis that the observed variations are caused by perturbations which affect different regions in the jet of the sources.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 11/2005; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Optical CCD imaging and spectroscopic observations of three supernova remnants are presented. Optical emission from G 54.4-0.3 and G 59.8+1.2 is detected for the first time, while the first flux calibrated CCD images of the supernova remnant G 126.2+1.6 were performed in the optical emission lines of Halpha+[N II], [O III] and [S II]. A mixture of filamentary and diffuse structures is observed in G 54.4-0.3 and G 59.8+1.2, mainly in Halpha+[N II], while the deep optical images of G 126.2+1.6 reveal several new filamentary and diffuse structures inside the extent of the remnant as defined by its known radio emission. In all cases, the radio emission is found to be well correlated with the optical filaments. [O III] emission was not detected at G 54.4-0.3 and G 59.8+1.2 while in G 126.2+1.6, significant morphological differences between the low and medium ionization images are present suggesting incomplete shock structures. Deep long-slit spectra were taken at different positions of the remnants. Both the flux calibrated images and the long-slit spectra clearly show that the emission originates from shock-heated gas, while some spectra of G 126.2+1.6 are characterized by large [O III]/Hbeta ratios. This remnant's [O III] flux suggests shock velocities into the interstellar "clouds" between 100 and 120 km/s, while the [O III] absence in the other two remnants indicates slower shock velocities. For all remnants, the [S II]6716/6731 ratio indicates electron densities below 600 cm^{-3} with particularly low densities for G 54.4-0.3 (below 50 cm^{-3}). Finally, the Halpha emission has been measured to be between 3.0 to 15.2x10^{-17} erg/s/cm^2/ arcsec^2, 3.2x10^{-17} erg/s/cm^2/ arcsec^2 and between 6.5 to 16.8x10^{-17} erg/s/cm^2/ arcsec^2 for G 54.4-0.3, G 59.8+1.2 and G 126.2+1.6, respectively. Comment: 10 pages, 7 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2005; · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The extended supernova remnant G 116.5+1.1 was observed in the optical emission lines of Halpha+[N II], [S II] and [O III]; deep long-slit spectra were also obtained. The morphology of the remnant's observed emission is mainly diffuse and patchy in contrast to the known filamentary emission seen along the western limb. The bulk of the detected emission in the region appears unrelated to the remnant but there is one area of emission in the south-east which is characterized by a [S II]/Halpha ratio of ~0.5, implying a possible relation to G 116.5+1.1. If this is actually the case, it would imply a more extended remnant than previously realized. Emission in the [O III] 5007 A line image is not detected, excluding moderate or fast velocity shocks running into ionized interstellar clouds. Our current estimate of the distance to G 116.5+1.1 of ~3 kpc is in agreement with earlier estimates and implies a very extended remnant (69 pc x 45 pc). Observations further to the north-east of G 116.5+1.1 revealed a network of filamentary structures prominent in Halpha+[N II] and [S II] but failed to detect [O III] line emission. Long-slit spectra in a number of positions provide strong evidence that this newly detected emission arises from shock heated gas. Typical Halpha fluxes lie in the range of 9 to 17 x10^{-17} erg/s/cm^2/ arcsec^2, while low electron densities are implied by the intensities of the sulfur lines. Weak emission from the medium ionization line at 5007 A is detected in only one spectrum. Cool dust emission at 60 and 100 microns may be correlated with the optical emission in a limited number of positions. Surpisingly, radio emission is not detected in published surveys suggesting that the new candidate remnant may belong to the class of "radio quiet" supernova remnants. Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures, accepted for publication in A&A
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 02/2005; · 4.48 Impact Factor