B. K. Gibson

University of Central Lancashire, Preston, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (7)13.73 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The VISTA near-infrared YJKs survey of the Magellanic Clouds system (VMC) has entered its core phase: about 40% of the observations across the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC, SMC), the Magellanic Bridge and Stream have already been secured and the data are processed and analysed regularly. The initial analyses, concentrated in the first two completed tiles in the LMC (6_6 including 30 Doradus and 8_8 including the South Ecliptic Pole), show the superior quality of the data. The depth of the VMC survey allows the derivation of the star formation history (SFH) with unprecedented quality compared to previous wide-area surveys while reddening maps of high angular resolution are constructed using red clump stars. The multi-epoch Ks-band data reveal tight period-luminosity relations for variable stars and they permit the measurement of accurate proper motions of the stellar populations. The VMC survey continues to acquire data that will address many issues in the field of star and galaxy evolution.
    06/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In order to obtain well-sampled light curves, the VMC Ks-band time series observations were scheduled into 12 separate epochs distributed over ideally several consecutive months. The VMC data, processed through the pipeline (Irwin et al., 2004, Proc. SPIE, 5493, 411) of the VISTA Data Flow System (VDFS; Emerson et al. 2004, Proc. SPIE, 5493, 401), were retrieved from the VISTA Science Archive (VSA; Cross et al., 2012A&A...548A.119C;, http://horus.roe.ac.uk/versus/).(3 data files).
    12/2013;
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    ABSTRACT: This table contains the VMC parameters for known quasars behind the Magellanic system. Parameters were derived from observation acquired until 30 September 2011. (1 data file).
    VizieR Online Data Catalog. 11/2012;
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    ABSTRACT: The number and spatial distribution of confirmed quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) behind the Magellanic system is limited. This undermines their use as astrometric reference objects for different types of studies. We have searched for criteria to identify candidate QSOs using observations from the VISTA survey of the Magellanic Clouds system (VMC) that provides photometry in the YJKs bands and 12 epochs in the Ks band. The (Y-J) versus (J-Ks) diagram has been used to distinguish QSO candidates from Milky Way stars and stars of the Magellanic Clouds. Then, the slope of variation in the Ks band has been used to identify a sample of high confidence candidates. These criteria were developed based on the properties of 117 known QSOs presently observed by the VMC survey. VMC YJKs magnitudes and Ks light-curves of known QSOs behind the Magellanic system are presented. About 75% of them show a slope of variation in Ks>10^-4 mag/day and the shape of the light-curve is in general irregular and without any clear periodicity. The number of QSO candidates found in tiles including the South Ecliptic Pole and the 30 Doradus regions is 22 and 26, respectively, with a ~20% contamination by young stellar objects, planetary nebulae, stars and normal galaxies. By extrapolating the number of QSO candidates to the entire VMC survey area we expect to find about 1200 QSOs behind the LMC, 400 behind the SMC, 200 behind the Bridge and 30 behind the Stream areas, but not all will be suitable for astrometry. Further, the Ks band light-curves can help support investigations of the mechanism responsible for the variations.
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 07/2012; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The VISTA Magellanic Cloud (VMC, PI M.R. Cioni) survey is collecting deep Ks-band time-series photometry of the pulsating variable stars hosted by the system formed by the two Magellanic Clouds (MCs) and the "bridge" connecting them. In this paper we present the first results for Classical Cepheids, from the VMC observations of two fields in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The VMC Ks-band light curves of the Cepheids are well sampled (12-epochs) and of excellent precision. We were able to measure for the first time the Ks magnitude of the faintest Classical Cepheids in the LMC (Ks\sim17.5 mag), which are mostly pulsating in the First Overtone (FO) mode, and to obtain FO Period-Luminosity (PL), Period-Wesenheit (PW), and Period-Luminosity-Color (PLC) relations, spanning the full period range from 0.25 to 6 day. Since the longest period Cepheid in our dataset has a variability period of 23 day, we have complemented our sample with literature data for brighter F Cepheids. On this basis we have built a PL relation in the Ks band that, for the first time, includes short period pulsators, and spans the whole range from 1.6 to 100 days in period. We also provide the first ever empirical PW and PLC relations using the (V-Ks) color and time-series Ks photometry. The very small dispersion (\sim0.07 mag) of these relations makes them very well suited to study the three-dimensional (3D) geometry of the Magellanic system. The use of "direct" (parallax- and Baade-Wesselink- based) distance measurements to both Galactic and LMC Cepheids, allowed us to calibrate the zero points of the PL, PW, and PLC relations obtained in this paper, and in turn to estimate an absolute distance modulus of (m-M)0=18.46\pm0.03 for the LMC. This result is in agreement with most of the latest literature determinations based on Classical Cepheids.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 04/2012; 424(3). · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The new VISual and Infrared Telescope for Astronomy (VISTA) has started operations. Over its first five years it will be collecting data for six public surveys, one of these is the near-infrared YJKsVISTA survey of the Magellanic Clouds system (VMC). This survey comprises the LMC, the SMC, the Bridge connecting the two galaxies and two fields in the Stream. This paper provides an overview of the VMC survey strategy and presents first science results. The main goals of the VMC survey are the determination of the spatially resolved SFH and 3D structure of the Magellanic system. Therefore, the VMC survey is designed to reach stars as faint as the oldest main sequence turn-off point and to constrain the mean magnitude of pulsating variable stars such as RR Lyrae stars and Cepheids. This paper focuses on observations of VMC fields in the LMC obtained between November 2009 and March 2010. These observations correspond to a 7% completeness of the LMC fields. The VMC observations consist of multi-epoch measurements organised following a specific structure. The data were reduced using the VISTA Data Flow System pipeline whose source catalogues were produced and made available via the VISTA Science Archive. The analysis of the data shows that the sensitivity in each wave band agrees with expectations. Uncertainties and completeness of the data are also derived. The first science results, aimed at assessing the science quality of the VMC data, include an overview of the distribution of stars in colour-magnitude and colour-colour diagrams, the detection of planetary nebulae and of stellar clusters, and the Ks band light-curve of variable stars. The VMC survey represents a tremendous improvement, in spatial resolution and sensitivity, on previous panoramic observations of the Magellanic system in the near-infrared and complements nicely the deep observations at other wavelengths. (Abridged)
    12/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: The Magellanic System represents one of the best places to study the formation and evolution of galaxies. Photometric surveys of various depths, areas and wavelengths have had a significant impact on our understanding of the system; however, a complete picture is still lacking. VMC (the VISTA near-infrared YJKs survey of the Magellanic System) will provide new data to derive the spatially resolved star formation history and to construct a three-dimensional map of the system. These data combined with those from other ongoing and planned surveys will give us an absolutely unique view of the system opening up the doors to truly new science! Comment: 8 pages, 12 figures, to appear in PASA as a key contribution to the Elizabeth and Frederic White conference on the Magellanic System (Sydney 16-17 July 2007). Replaced with refereed version
    Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia 10/2007; · 3.12 Impact Factor