Daiana Di Nino

The Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado, United States

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Publications (4)45.5 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We report observations of dusty clouds in Saturn’s rings, which we interpret as resulting from impacts onto the rings that occurred between 1 and 50 hours before the clouds were observed. The largest of these clouds was observed twice; its brightness and cant angle evolved in a manner consistent with this hypothesis. Several arguments suggest that these clouds cannot be due to the primary impact of one solid meteoroid onto the rings, but rather are due to the impact of a compact stream of Saturn-orbiting material derived from previous breakup of a meteoroid. The responsible interplanetary meteoroids were initially between 1 centimeter and several meters in size, and their influx rate is consistent with the sparse prior knowledge of smaller meteoroids in the outer solar system.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: We use UBVI Hα images of the Whirlpool galaxy, M51, taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys and WFPC2 cameras on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to select star clusters, and to estimate their masses and ages by comparing their observed colors with predictions from population synthesis models. We construct the mass function of intermediate-age (1-4 × 108 yr) clusters, and find that it is well described by a power law, ψ(M) ∝ M β, with β = –2.1 ± 0.2, for clusters more massive than M ≈ 6 × 103M ☉. This extends the mass function of intermediate-age clusters in M51 to masses lower by nearly a factor of five over previous determinations. The mass function does not show evidence for curvature at either the high or low mass end. This shape indicates that there is no evidence for the earlier disruption of lower mass clusters compared with their higher mass counterparts (i.e., no mass-dependent disruption) over the observed range of masses and ages, or for a physical upper mass limit MC with which clusters in M51 can form. These conclusions differ from previous suggestions based on poorer-quality HST observations. We discuss their implications for the formation and disruption of the clusters. Ages of clusters in two "feathers," stellar features extending from the outer portion of a spiral arm, show that the feather with a larger pitch angle formed earlier, and over a longer period, than the other.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · The Astrophysical Journal
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    ABSTRACT: We describe in-flight calibration of the Cassini Imaging Science Sub-system narrow- and wide-angle cameras using data from 2004 to 2009. We report on the photometric performance of the cameras including the use of polarization filters, point spread functions over a dynamic range greater than 107, gain and loss of hot pixels, changes in flat fields, and an analysis of charge transfer efficiency. Hot pixel behavior is more complicated than can be understood by a process of activation by cosmic ray damage and deactivation by annealing. Point spread function (PSF) analysis revealed a ghost feature associated with the narrow-angle camera Green filter. More generally, the observed PSFs do not fall off with distance as rapidly as expected if diffraction were the primary contributor. Stray light produces significant signal far from the center of the PSF. Our photometric analysis made use of calibrated spectra from eighteen stars and the spectral shape of the satellite Enceladus. The analysis revealed a shutter offset that differed from pre-launch calibration. It affects the shortest exposures. Star photometry results are reproducible to a few percent in most filters. No degradation in charge transfer efficiency has been detected although uncertainties are large. The results of this work have been digitally archived and incorporated into our calibration software CISSCAL available online.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Planetary and Space Science
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    ABSTRACT: We present a study of the properties of the star-cluster systems around pseudobulges of late-type spiral galaxies using a sample of 11 galaxies with distances from 17 Mpc to 37 Mpc. Star clusters are identified from multiband Hubble Space Telescope ACS and WFPC2 imaging data by combining detections in three bands (F435W and F814W with ACS and F606W with WFPC2). The photometric data are then compared to population synthesis models to infer the masses and ages of the star clusters. Photometric errors and completeness are estimated by means of artificial source Monte Carlo simulations. Dust extinction is estimated by considering F160W NICMOS observations of the central regions of the galaxies, augmenting our wavelength coverage. In all galaxies we identify star clusters with a wide range of ages, from young (age 8 Myr) blue clusters, with typical mass of 103M ☉ to older (age >100-250 Myr), more massive, red clusters. Some of the latter might likely evolve into objects similar to the Milky Way's globular clusters. We compute the specific frequencies for the older clusters with respect to the galaxy and bulge luminosities. Specific frequencies relative to the galaxy light appear consistent with the globular cluster specific frequencies of early-type spirals. We compare the specific frequencies relative to the bulge light with the globular cluster specific frequencies of dwarf galaxies, which have a surface brightness profile that is similar to that of the pseudobulges in our sample. The specific frequencies we derive for our sample galaxies are higher than those of the dwarf galaxies, supporting an evolutionary scenario in which some of the dwarf galaxies might be the remnants of harassed late-type spiral galaxies that hosted a pseudobulge.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2009 · The Astronomical Journal

Publication Stats

58 Citations
45.50 Total Impact Points


  • 2010-2013
    • The Space Science Institute
      Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • 2009
    • Space Telescope Science Institute
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States