S. Zibetti

University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States

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Publications (121)362.61 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mass models of galactic disks traditionnally rely on axisymmetric density and rotation curves, paradoxically acting as if their most remarkable asymmetric features, like e.g. lopsidedness or spiral arms, were not important. In this article, we relax the axisymmetry approximation and introduce a methodology that derives 3D gravitational potentials of disk-like objects and robustly estimates the impacts of asymmetries on circular velocities in the disk mid-plane. Mass distribution models can then be directly fitted to asymmetric line-of-sight velocity fields. Applied to the grand-design spiral M99, the new strategy shows that circular velocities are highly non-uniform, particularly in the inner disk of the galaxy, as a natural response to the perturbed gravitational potential of luminous matter. A cuspy inner density profile of dark matter is found in M99, in the usual case where luminous and dark matter share the same centre. The impact of the velocity non-uniformity is to make the inner profile less steep, though the density remains cuspy. On another hand, a model where the halo is core-dominated and shifted by 2.2-2.5 kpc from the luminous mass centre is more appropriate to account for most of the kinematical lopsidedness evidenced in the velocity field of M99. However, the gravitational potential of luminous baryons is not asymmetric enough to explain the kinematical lopsidedness of the innermost regions, irrespective of the density shape of dark matter. This discrepancy points out the necessity of an additional dynamical process in these regions, maybe a lopsided distribution of dark matter.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We study the stellar properties of 44 face-on spiral galaxies from the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area survey via full spectrum fitting techniques. We compare the age profiles with the surface brightness distribution in order to highlight differences between profile types (type I, exponential profile; and II, down-bending profile). We observe an upturn (‘U-shape’) in the age profiles for 17 out of these 44 galaxies with reliable stellar information up to their outer parts. This ‘U-shape’ is not a unique feature for type II galaxies but can be observed in type I as well. These findings suggest that the mechanisms shaping the surface brightness and stellar population distributions are not directly coupled. This upturn in age is only observable in the light-weighted profiles while it flattens out in the mass-weighted profiles. Given recent results on the outer parts of nearby systems and the results presented in this Letter, one of the most plausible explanations for the age upturn is an early formation of the entire disc (∼10 Gyr ago) followed by an inside-out quenching of the star formation.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters
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    ABSTRACT: We study, for the first time in a statistically significant and well-defined sample, the relation between the outer-disk ionized-gas metallicity gradients and the presence of breaks in the surface brightness profiles of disk galaxies. SDSS g'- and r'-band surface brightness, (g'- r') color, and ionized-gas oxygen abundance profiles for 324 galaxies within the CALIFA survey are used for this purpose. We perform a detailed light-profile classification finding that 84% of our disks show down- or up-bending profiles (Type II and Type III, respectively) while the remaining 16% are well fitted by one single exponential (Type I). The analysis of the color gradients at both sides of this break shows a U-shaped profile for most Type II galaxies with an average minimum (g'- r') color of ~0.5 mag and a ionized-gas metallicity flattening associated to it only in the case of low-mass galaxies. More massive systems show a rather uniform negative metallicity gradient. The correlation between metallicity flattening and stellar mass results in p-values as low as 0.01. Independently of the mechanism having shaped the outer light profiles of these galaxies, stellar migration or a previous episode of star formation in a shrinking star-forming disk, it is clear that the imprint in their ionized-gas metallicity was different for low- and high-mass Type II galaxies. In the case of Type III disks, a positive correlation between the change in color and abundance gradient is found (the null hypothesis is ruled out with a p-value of 0.02), with the outer disks of Type III galaxies with masses $\leq$10$^{10}$ M$_{\odot}$ showing a weak color reddening or even a bluing. This is interpreted as primarily due to a mass down-sizing effect on the population of Type III galaxies having recently experienced an enhanced inside-out growth.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We study the ionization and kinematics of the ionized gas in the nuclear region of the barred Seyfert 2 galaxy NGC~5643 using MUSE integral field observations in the framework of the MAGNUM (Measuring Active Galactic Nuclei Under MUSE Microscope) survey. The data were used to identify regions with different ionization conditions and to map the gas density and the dust extinction. We find evidence for a double sided ionization cone, possibly collimated by a dusty structure surrounding the nucleus. At the center of the ionization cone, outflowing ionized gas is revealed as a blueshifted, asymmetric wing of the [OIII] emission line, up to projected velocity v(10)~-450 km/s. The outflow is also seen as a diffuse, low luminosity radio and X-ray jet, with similar extension. The outflowing material points in the direction of two clumps characterized by prominent line emission with spectra typical of HII regions, located at the edge of the dust lane of the bar. We propose that the star formation in the clumps is due to `positive feedback' induced by gas compression by the nuclear outflow, providing the first candidate for outflow induced star formation in a Seyfert-like radio quiet AGN. This suggests that positive feedback may be a relevant mechanism in shaping the black hole-host galaxy coevolution.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: This paper characterizes the radial structure of stellar population properties of galaxies in the nearby universe, based on 300 galaxies from the CALIFA survey. The sample covers a wide range of Hubble types, and galaxy stellar mass. We apply the spectral synthesis techniques to recover the stellar mass surface density, stellar extinction, light and mass-weighted ages, and mass-weighted metallicity, for each spatial resolution element in our target galaxies. To study mean trends with overall galaxy properties, the individual radial profiles are stacked in seven bins of galaxy morphology. We confirm that more massive galaxies are more compact, older, more metal rich, and less reddened by dust. Additionally, we find that these trends are preserved spatially with the radial distance to the nucleus. Deviations from these relations appear correlated with Hubble type: earlier types are more compact, older, and more metal rich for a given mass, which evidences that quenching is related to morphology, but not driven by mass. Negative gradients of ages are consistent with an inside-out growth of galaxies, with the largest ages gradients in Sb-Sbc galaxies. Further, the mean stellar ages of disks and bulges are correlated, with disks covering a wider range of ages, and late type spirals hosting younger disks. The gradients in stellar mass surface density depend mostly on stellar mass, in the sense that more massive galaxies are more centrally concentrated. There is a secondary correlation in the sense that at the same mass early type galaxies have steeper gradients. We find mildly negative metallicity gradients, shallower than predicted from models of galaxy evolution in isolation. The largest gradients occur in Sb galaxies. Overall we conclude that quenching processes act in manners that are independent of mass, while metallicity and galaxy structure are influenced by mass-dependent processes.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015
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    ABSTRACT: We have obtained deep NIR narrow and broad (J and Y) band imaging data of the GOODS-South field. The narrow band filter is centered at 1060 nm corresponding to redshifts $z = 0.62, 1.15, 1.85$ for the strong emission lines H$\alpha$, $[$OIII$]$/H$\beta$ and $[$OII$]$, respectively. From those data we extract a well defined sample ($M(AB)=24.8$ in the narrow band) of objects with large emission line equivalent widths in the narrow band. Via SED fits to published broad band data we identify which of the three lines we have detected and assign redshifts accordingly. This results in a well defined, strong emission line selected sample of galaxies down to lower masses than can easily be obtained with only continuum flux limited selection techniques. We compare the (SED fitting-derived) main sequence of star-formation (MS) of our sample to previous works and find that it has a steeper slope than that of samples of more massive galaxies. We conclude that the MS steepens at lower (below $M_{\star} = 10^{9.4} M_{\odot}$) galaxy masses. We also show that the SFR at any redshift is higher in our sample. We attribute this to the targeted selection of galaxies with large emission line equivalent widths, and conclude that our sample presumably forms the upper boundary of the MS. We briefly investigate and outline how samples with accurate redshifts down to those low stellar masses open a new window to study the formation of large scale structure in the early universe. In particular we report on the detection of a young galaxy cluster at $z=1.85$ which features a central massive galaxy which is the candidate of an early stage cD galaxy, and we identify a likely filament mapped out by $[$OIII$]$ and $H\beta$ emitting galaxies at $z=1.15$.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2015 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: This White Paper presents the scientific motivations for a multi-object spectrograph (MOS) on the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). The MOS case draws on all fields of contemporary astronomy, from extra-solar planets, to the study of the halo of the Milky Way and its satellites, and from resolved stellar populations in nearby galaxies out to observations of the earliest 'first-light' structures in the partially-reionised Universe. The material presented here results from thorough discussions within the community over the past four years, building on the past competitive studies to agree a common strategy toward realising a MOS capability on the E-ELT. The cases have been distilled to a set of common requirements which will be used to define the MOSAIC instrument, entailing two observational modes ('high multiplex' and 'high definition'). When combined with the unprecedented sensitivity of the E-ELT, MOSAIC will be the world's leading MOS facility. In analysing the requirements we also identify a high-multiplex MOS for the longer-term plans for the E-ELT, with an even greater multiplex (>1000 targets) to enable studies of large-scale structures in the high-redshift Universe. Following the green light for the construction of the E-ELT the MOS community, structured through the MOSAIC consortium, is eager to realise a MOS on the E-ELT as soon as possible. We argue that several of the most compelling cases for ELT science, in highly competitive areas of modern astronomy, demand such a capability. For example, MOS observations in the early stages of E-ELT operations will be essential for follow-up of sources identified by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In particular, multi-object adaptive optics and accurate sky subtraction with fibres have both recently been demonstrated on sky, making fast-track development of MOSAIC feasible.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Aims. We present three independent catalogs of point-sources extracted from SPIRE images at 250, 350, and 500 mu m, acquired with the Herschel Space Observatory as a part of the Herschel Virgo Cluster Survey (HeViCS). The catalogs have been cross-correlated to consistently extract the photometry at SPIRE wavelengths for each object. Methods. Sources have been detected using an iterative loop. The source positions are determined by estimating the likelihood to be a real source for each peak on the maps, according to the criterion defined in the source Extractor Sussextractor task. The flux densities are estimated using the source Extractor Timeline, a timeline-based point source fitter that also determines the fitting procedure with the width of the Gaussian that best reproduces the source considered. Afterwards, each source is subtracted from the maps, removing a Gaussian function in every position with the full width half maximum equal to that estimated in source Extractor Timeline. This procedure improves the robustness of our algorithm in terms of source identification. We calculate the completeness and the flux accuracy by injecting artificial sources in the timeline and estimate the reliability of the catalog using a permutation method. Results. The HeViCS catalogs contain about 52 000, 42 200, and 18 700 sources selected at 250, 350, and 500 mu m above 3 sigma and are similar to 75%, 62%, and 50% complete at flux densities of 20 mJy at 250, 350, 500 mu m, respectively. We then measured source number counts at 250, 350, and 500 mu m and compare them with previous data and semi-analytical models. We also cross-correlated the catalogs with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to investigate the redshift distribution of the nearby sources. From this cross-correlation, we select similar to 2000 sources with reliable fluxes and a high signal-to-noise ratio, finding an average redshift z similar to 0.3 +/- 0.22 and 0.25 (16-84 percentile). Conclusions. The number counts at 250, 350, and 500 mu m show an increase in the slope below 200 mJy, indicating a strong evolution in number of density for galaxies at these fluxes. In general, models tend to overpredict the counts at brighter flux densities, underlying the importance of studying the Rayleigh-Jeans part of the spectral energy distribution to refine the theoretical recipes of the models. Our iterative method for source identification allowed the detection of a family of 500 mu m sources that are not foreground objects belonging to Virgo and not found in other catalogs.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present the results of a new, ultra-deep, near-infrared imaging survey executed with the Hawk-I imager at the ESO VLT, of which we make all the data public. This survey, named HUGS (Hawk-I UDS and GOODS Survey), provides deep, high-quality imaging in the K and Y bands over the CANDELS UDS and GOODS-South fields. We describe here the survey strategy, the data reduction process, and the data quality. HUGS delivers the deepest and highest quality K-band images ever collected over areas of cosmological interest, and ideally complements the CANDELS data set in terms of image quality and depth. The seeing is exceptional and homogeneous, confined to the range 0.38"-0.43". In the deepest region of the GOODS-S field, (which includes most of the HUDF) the K-band exposure time exceeds 80 hours of integration, yielding a 1-sigma magnitude limit of ~28.0 mag/sqarcsec. In the UDS field the survey matches the shallower depth of the CANDELS images reaching a 1-sigma limit per sq.arcsec of ~27.3mag in the K band and ~28.3mag in the Y-band, We show that the HUGS observations are well matched to the depth of the CANDELS WFC3/IR data, since the majority of even the faintest galaxies detected in the CANDELS H-band images are also detected in HUGS. We present the K-band galaxy number counts produced by combining the HUGS data from the two fields. We show that the slope of the number counts depends sensitively on the assumed distribution of galaxy sizes, with potential impact on the estimated extra-galactic background light (abridged).
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: Physical conditions of the interstellar medium in galaxies are closely linked to the ambient radiation field and the heating of dust grains. In order to characterize dust properties in galaxies over a wide range of physical conditions, we present here the radial surface brightness profiles of the entire sample of 61 galaxies from Key Insights into Nearby Galaxies: Far-Infrared Survey with Herschel (KINGFISH). The main goal of our work is the characterization of the grain emissivities, dust temperatures, and interstellar radiation fields responsible for heating the dust. After fitting the dust and stellar radial profiles with exponential functions, we fit the far-infrared spectral energy distribution (SED) in each annular region with single-temperature modified black bodies using both variable (MBBV) and fixed (MBBF) emissivity indices beta, as well as with physically motivated dust models. Results show that while most SED parameters decrease with radius, the emissivity index beta also decreases with radius in some galaxies, but in others is increasing, or rising in the inner regions and falling in the outer ones. Despite the fixed grain emissivity (average beta~ 2.1) of the physically-motivated models, they are well able to accommodate flat spectral slopes with beta<= 1. We find that flatter slopes (beta<= 1.5) are associated with cooler temperatures, contrary to what would be expected from the usual Tdust-beta degeneracy. This trend is related to variations in Umin since beta and Umin are very closely linked over the entire range in Umin sampled by the KINGFISH galaxies: low Umin is associated with flat beta<=1. Both these results strongly suggest that the low apparent \beta values (flat slopes) in MBBV fits are caused by temperature mixing along the line-of-sight, rather than by intrinsic variations in grain properties. Abstract truncated for arXiv.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed analysis of the influence of the environment and of the environmental history on quenching star formation in central and satellite galaxies in the local Universe. We take advantage of publicly available galaxy catalogues obtained from applying a galaxy formation model to the Millennium simulation. In addition to halo mass, we consider the local density of galaxies within various fixed scales. Comparing our model predictions to observational data [Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)], we demonstrate that the models are failing to reproduce the observed density dependence of the quiescent galaxy fraction in several aspects: for most of the stellar mass ranges and densities explored, models cannot reproduce the observed similar behaviour of centrals and satellites, they slightly underestimate the quiescent fraction of centrals and significantly overestimate that of satellites. We show that in the models, the density dependence of the quiescent central galaxies is caused by a fraction of ‘backsplash’ centrals which have been satellites in the past. The observed stronger density dependence on scales of 0.2–1 Mpc may, however, indicate additional environmental processes working on central galaxies. Turning to satellite galaxies, the density dependence of their quiescent fractions reflects a dependence on the time spent orbiting within a parent halo, correlating strongly with halo mass and distance from the halo centre. Comparisons with observational estimates suggest relatively long gas consumption time-scales of roughly 5 Gyr in low-mass satellite galaxies. The quenching time-scales decrease with increasing satellite stellar mass. Overall, a change in modelling both internal processes and environmental processes is required for improving currently used galaxy formation models.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We map the neutral atomic gas content of M33 using high resolution VLA and GBT observations and fit a tilted ring model to determine the orientation of the extended gaseous disk and its rotation curve. The disk of M33 warps from 8 kpc outwards without substantial change of its inclination with respect to the line of sight. Rotational velocities rise steeply with radius in the inner disk, reaching 100 km/s in 4 kpc, then the rotation curve becomes more perturbed and flatter with velocities as high as 120-130 km/s out to 23 kpc. We derive the stellar mass surface density map of M33's optical disk, via pixel -SED fitting methods based on population synthesis models, which highlights variations in the mass-to-light ratio. The stellar mass surface further out is estimated from deep images of outer disk fields. Stellar and gas maps are then used in the dynamical analysis of the rotation curve to constrain the dark matter distribution which is relevant at all radii. A dark matter halo with a Navarro-Frenk-White density profile in a LCDM cosmology, provides the best fit to the rotation curve for a dark halo concentration C=10 and a total halo mass of 4.3 10^{11}Msun. This imples a baryonic fraction of order 0.02 and the evolutionary history of this galaxy should account for loss of a large fraction of its original baryonic content.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: We present a detailed analysis of the influence of the environment and of the environmental history on quenching star formation in central and satellite galaxies in the local Universe. We take advantage of publicly available galaxy catalogues obtained from applying a galaxy formation model to the Millennium simulation. In addition to halo mass, we consider the local density of galaxies within various fixed scales. Comparing our model predictions to observational data (SDSS), we demonstrate that the models are failing to reproduce the observed density dependence of the quiescent galaxy fraction in several aspects: for most of the stellar mass ranges and densities explored, models cannot reproduce the observed similar behaviour of centrals and satellites, they slightly under-estimate the quiescent fraction of centrals and significantly over-estimate that of satellites. We show that in the models, the density dependence of the quiescent central galaxies is caused by a fraction of "backsplash" centrals which have been satellites in the past (and were thus suffering from environmental processes). Turning to satellite galaxies, the density dependence of their quiescent fractions reflects a dependence on the time spent orbiting within a parent halo of a particular mass, correlating strongly with halo mass and distance from the halo centre. Comparisons with observational estimates suggest relatively long gas consumption time scales of roughly 5 Gyr in low mass satellite galaxies. The quenching time scales decrease with increasing satellite stellar mass. Overall, a change in modelling both internal processes (star formation and feedback) and environmental processes (e.g. making them dependent on dynamical friction time-scales and preventing the re-accretion of gas onto backsplash galaxies) is required for improving currently used galaxy formation models.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014
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    ABSTRACT: We describe and discuss the selection procedure and statistical properties of the galaxy sample used by the Calar Alto Legacy Integral Field Area Survey (CALIFA), a public legacy survey of 600 galaxies using integral field spectroscopy. The CALIFA "mother sample" was selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) DR7 photometric catalogue to include all galaxies with an r-band isophotal major axis between 45" and 79.2" and with a redshift 0.005 < z < 0.03. The mother sample contains 939 objects, 600 of which will be observed in the course of the CALIFA survey. The selection of targets for observations is based solely on visibility and thus keeps the statistical properties of the mother sample. By comparison with a large set of SDSS galaxies, we find that the CALIFA sample is representative of galaxies over a luminosity range of -19 > Mr > -23.1 and over a stellar mass range between 10^9.7 and 10^11.4Msun. In particular, within these ranges, the diameter selection does not lead to any significant bias against - or in favour of - intrinsically large or small galaxies. Only below luminosities of Mr = -19 (or stellar masses < 10^9.7Msun) is there a prevalence of galaxies with larger isophotal sizes, especially of nearly edge-on late-type galaxies, but such galaxies form < 10% of the full sample. We estimate volume-corrected distribution functions in luminosities and sizes and show that these are statistically fully compatible with estimates from the full SDSS when accounting for large-scale structure. We also present a number of value-added quantities determined for the galaxies in the CALIFA sample. We explore different ways of characterizing the environments of CALIFA galaxies, finding that the sample covers environmental conditions from the field to genuine clusters. We finally consider the expected incidence of active galactic nuclei among CALIFA galaxies.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: While studies of gas-phase metallicity gradients in disc galaxies are common, very little has been done in the acquisition of stellar abundance gradients in the same regions. We present here a comparative study of the stellar metallicity and age distributions in a sample of 62 nearly face-on, spiral galaxies with and without bars, using data from the CALIFA survey. We measure the slopes of the gradients and study their relation with other properties of the galaxies. We find that the mean stellar age and metallicity gradients in the disc are shallow and negative. Furthermore, when normalized to the effective radius of the disc, the slope of the stellar population gradients does not correlate with the mass or with the morphological type of the galaxies. Contrary to this, the values of both age and metallicity at $\sim$2.5 scale-lengths correlate with the central velocity dispersion in a similar manner to the central values of the bulges, although bulges show, on average, older ages and higher metallicities than the discs. One of the goals of the present paper is to test the theoretical prediction that non-linear coupling between the bar and the spiral arms is an efficient mechanism for producing radial migrations across significant distances within discs. The process of radial migration should flatten the stellar metallicity gradient with time and, therefore, we would expect flatter stellar metallicity gradients in barred galaxies. However, we do not find any difference in the metallicity or age gradients in galaxies with without bars. We discuss possible scenarios that can lead to this absence of difference.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    ABSTRACT: Over the past 18 months we have revisited the science requirements for a multi-object spectrograph (MOS) for the European Extremely Large Telescope (E-ELT). These efforts span the full range of E-ELT science and include input from a broad cross-section of astronomers across the ESO partner countries. In this contribution we summarise the key cases relating to studies of high-redshift galaxies, galaxy evolution, and stellar populations, with a more expansive presentation of a new case relating to detection of exoplanets in stellar clusters. A general requirement is the need for two observational modes to best exploit the large (>40 sq. arcmin) patrol field of the E-ELT. The first mode ('high multiplex') requires integrated-light (or coarsely resolved) optical/near-IR spectroscopy of >100 objects simultaneously. The second ('high definition'), enabled by wide-field adaptive optics, requires spatially-resolved, near-IR of >10 objects/sub-fields. Within the context of the conceptual study for an ELT-MOS called MOSAIC, we summarise the top-level requirements from each case and introduce the next steps in the design process.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
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    ABSTRACT: The chemo-dynamics of galaxy halos beyond the Local Group may now be mapped out through the use of globular clusters and planetary nebulae as bright tracer objects, along with deep multi-slit spectroscopy of the integrated stellar light. We present results from surveying nearby early-type galaxies, including evidence for kinematically distinct halos that may reflect two-phase galaxy assembly. We also demonstrate the utility of the tracer approach in measuring the kinematics of stellar substructures around the Umbrella Galaxy, which allow us to reconstruct the progenitor properties and stream orbit.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
  • L. Chemin · J.-M. Huré · C. Soubiran · S. Zibetti · P. Charlot

    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: The fraction of galaxies with red colours depends sensitively on environment, and on the way in which environment is measured. To distinguish competing theories for the quenching of star formation, a robust and complete description of environment is required, to be applied to a large sample of galaxies. The environment of galaxies can be described using the density field of neighbours on multiple scales - the multiscale density field. We are using the Millennium simulation and a simple HOD prescription which describes the multiscale density field of Sloan Digital Sky Survey DR7 galaxies to investigate the dependence of the fraction of red galaxies on the environment. Using a volume limited sample where we have sufficient galaxies in narrow density bins, we have more dynamic range in halo mass and density for satellite galaxies than for central galaxies. Therefore we model the red fraction of central galaxies as a constant while we use a functional form to describe the red fraction of satellites as a function of halo mass which allows us to distinguish a sharp from a gradual transition. While it is clear that the data can only be explained by a gradual transition, an analysis of the multiscale density field on different scales suggests that colour segregation within the haloes is needed to explain the results. We also rule out a sharp transition for central galaxies, within the halo mass range sampled.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified a low surface brightness stellar stream from visual inspection of Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) imaging for the edge-on, spiral galaxy NGC 5387. An optically blue overdensity coincident with the stream intersection with the NGC 5387 disk was also identified in SDSS and in the Galaxy Evolution Explorer Deep Imaging Survey contributing 38% of the total far-UV integrated flux from NGC 5387. Deeper optical imaging was acquired with the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope that confirmed the presence of both features. The stellar stream is red in color, (B – V) = 0.7, has a stellar mass of 6 × 108M ☉, which implies a 1:50 merger ratio, has a circular radius, R circ ~ 11.7 kpc, formed in ~240 Myr, and the progenitor had a total mass of ~4 × 1010M ☉. Spectroscopy from LBT+MODS1 was used to determine that the blue overdensity is at the same redshift as NGC 5387, consists of young stellar populations (~10 Myr), is metal-poor (12 + log (O/H) = 8.03), and is forming stars at an enhanced rate (~1-3 M ☉ yr–1). The most likely interpretations are that the blue overdensity is (1) a region of enhanced star formation in the outer disk of NGC 5387 induced by the minor accretion event or (2) the progenitor of the stellar stream experiencing enhanced star formation. Additional exploration of these scenarios is presented in a companion paper.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

6k Citations
362.61 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • University of Virginia
      • Department of Astronomy
      Charlottesville, Virginia, United States
  • 2009-2013
    • IT University of Copenhagen
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2007-2013
    • Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2009-2011
    • Dark Cosmology Centre
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
  • 2005-2008
    • Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics
      Arching, Bavaria, Germany
  • 2006
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Physics and Astronomy
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 2001-2002
    • Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy