Sky Survey (sky + survey)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Sky Survey

  • deep sky survey
  • digital sky survey
  • sloan digital sky survey

  • Terms modified by Sky Survey

  • sky survey data release

  • Selected Abstracts

    Ionized gas in E/S0 galaxies with dust lanes

    Ido Finkelman
    ABSTRACT We report the results of multicolour observations of 30 E/S0 galaxies with dust lanes. For each galaxy we obtained broad-band images and narrow-band images using interference filters isolating the H,+[N ii] emission lines to derive the amount and morphology of dust and ionized gas. To improve the wavelength coverage we retrieved data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and Two Micron All Sky Survey and combined these with our data. Ionized gas is detected in 25 galaxies and shows in most cases a smooth morphology, although knots and filamentary structure are also observed in some objects. The extended gas distribution closely follows the dust structure, with a clear correlation between the mass of both components. An extinction law by the extragalactic dust in the dark lanes is derived and is used to estimate the dust content of the galaxies. The derived extinction law is used to correct the measured colours for intrinsic dust extinction and the data are fitted with a stellar population synthesis model. We find that the H, emission and colours of most objects are consistent with the presence of an ,old' stellar population (,10 Gyr) and a small fraction of a ,young' population (, 10,100 Myr). To check this we closely examine NGC 5363, for which archival Spitzer/Infrared Array Camera and Galaxy Evolution Explorer data are available, as a representative dust-lane E/S0 galaxy of the sample. [source]

    Abundances, masses and weak-lensing mass profiles of galaxy clusters as a function of richness and luminosity in ,CDM cosmologies

    Stefan Hilbert
    ABSTRACT We test the concordance , cold dark matter (,CDM) cosmology by comparing predictions for the mean properties of galaxy clusters to observations. We use high-resolution N -body simulations of cosmic structure formation and semi-analytic models of galaxy formation to compute the abundance, mean density profile and mass of galaxy clusters as a function of richness and luminosity, and we compare these predictions to observations of clusters in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) maxBCG catalogue. We discuss the scatter in the mass,richness relation, the reconstruction of the cluster mass function from the mass,richness relation and fits to the weak-lensing cluster mass profiles. The impact of cosmological parameters on the predictions is investigated by comparing results from galaxy models based on the Millennium Simulation (MS) and the WMAP1 simulation to those from the WMAP3 simulation. We find that the simulated weak-lensing mass profiles and the observed profiles of the SDSS maxBCG clusters agree well in shape and amplitude. The mass,richness relations in the simulations are close to the observed relation, with differences ,30 per cent. The MS and WMAP1 simulations yield cluster abundances similar to those observed, whereas abundances in the WMAP3 simulation are two to three times lower. The differences in cluster abundance, mass and density amplitude between the simulations and the observations can be attributed to differences in the underlying cosmological parameters, in particular the power spectrum normalization ,8. Better agreement between predictions and observations should be reached with a normalization 0.722 < ,8 < 0.9 (probably closer to the upper value), i.e. between the values underlying the two simulation sets. [source]

    The nature of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey galaxies in various classes based on morphology, colour and spectral features , III.

    ABSTRACT We present a study on the environments of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) galaxies divided into fine classes based on their morphology, colour and spectral features. The SDSS galaxies are classified into early-type and late-type; red and blue; passive, H ii, Seyfert and low-ionization nuclear emission-line region (LINER), which returns a total of 16 fine classes of galaxies. We estimate the local number density, target-excluded local luminosity density, local colour, close pair fraction and the luminosity and colour of the brightest neighbour, which are compared between the fine classes comprehensively. The morphology,colour class of galaxies strongly depends on the local density, with the approximate order of high-density preference: red early-type galaxies (REGs); red late-type galaxies (RLGs); blue early-type galaxies (BEGs) and blue late-type galaxies (BLGs). We find that high-density environments (like cluster environments) seem to suppress active galactic nucleus activity. The pair fraction of H ii REGs does not show a statistically significant difference from that of passive REGs, while the pair fraction of H ii BLGs is smaller than that of non-H ii BLGs. H ii BLGs show obvious double (red + blue) peaks in the distribution of the brightest neighbour colour, while red galaxies show a single red peak. The brightest neighbours of Seyfert BLGs tend to be blue, while those of LINER BLGs tend to be red, which implies that the difference between Seyfert and LINER may be related to the pair interaction. Other various environments of the fine classes are investigated, and their implications for galaxy evolution are discussed. [source]

    The velocity function of gas-rich galaxies

    M. A. Zwaan
    ABSTRACT We measure the distribution function of rotational velocities ,(Vc) of late-type galaxies from the HIPASS galaxy catalogue. Previous measurements of the late-type velocity function are indirect, derived by converting the galaxy luminosity function using the relation between galaxy luminosity and rotation velocity (the Tully,Fisher relation). The advantage of H i Parkes All Sky Survey is that space densities and velocity widths are both derived from the same survey data. We find good agreement with earlier inferred measurements of ,(Vc), but we are able to define the space density of objects with Vc as low as 30 km s,1. The measured velocity function is ,flat' (power-law slope ,,,1.0) below Vc, 100 km s,1. We compare our results with predictions based on , cold dark matter simulations and find good agreement for rotational velocities in excess of 100 km s,1, but at lower velocities current models over-predict the space density of objects. At Vc= 30 km s,1, this discrepancy is approximately a factor of 20. [source]

    Estimating the redshift distribution of photometric galaxy samples , II.

    Applications, tests of a new method
    ABSTRACT In Lima et al. we presented a new method for estimating the redshift distribution, N(z), of a photometric galaxy sample, using photometric observables and weighted sampling from a spectroscopic subsample of the data. In this paper, we extend this method and explore various applications of it, using both simulations and real data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). In addition to estimating the redshift distribution for an entire sample, the weighting method enables accurate estimates of the redshift probability distribution, p(z), for each galaxy in a photometric sample. Use of p(z) in cosmological analyses can substantially reduce biases associated with traditional photometric redshifts, in which a single redshift estimate is associated with each galaxy. The weighting procedure also naturally indicates which galaxies in the photometric sample are expected to have accurate redshift estimates, namely those that lie in regions of photometric-observable space that are well sampled by the spectroscopic subsample. In addition to providing a method that has some advantages over standard photo- z estimates, the weights method can also be used in conjunction with photo- z estimates e.g. by providing improved estimation of N(z) via deconvolution of N(zphot) and improved estimates of photo- z scatter and bias. We present a publicly available p(z) catalogue for ,78 million SDSS DR7 galaxies. [source]

    The properties of the heterogeneous Shakhbazyan groups of galaxies in the SDSS

    D. Capozzi
    ABSTRACT We present a systematic study of the subsample of Shakhbazyan (SHK) groups covered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 5 (SDSS DR5). SHK groups probe an environment with characteristics which are intermediate between those of loose and very compact groups. Surprisingly, we found that several groups identifying algorithms, e.g. Berlind et al. and Tago et al., miss this type of structures. Using the SDSS DR5 spectroscopic data and the photometric redshifts derived in D'Abrusco et al., we identified possible group members in photometric redshift space and derived, for each group, several individual properties (richness, size, mean photometric redshift, fraction of red galaxies, etc.). We also combined pointed and stacked Rosat All Sky Survey (RASS) data to investigate the X-ray luminosities of these systems. Our study confirms that the majority of groups are physical entities with richness in the range 3,13 galaxies, and properties ranging between those of loose and compact groups. We confirm that SHK groups are richer in early-type galaxies than the surrounding environment and the field, as expected from the morphology,density relation and from the selection of groups of red galaxies. Furthermore, our work supports the existence of two subclasses of structures, the first one being formed by compact and isolated groups and the second formed by extended structures. We suggest that while the first class of objects dwells in less dense regions like the outer parts of clusters or the field, possibly sharing the properties of Hickson Compact Groups, the more extended structures represent a mixture of [core + halo] configurations and cores of rich clusters. X-ray luminosities for SHK groups are generally consistent with these results and with the expectations for the LX,,v relation, but also suggest the velocity dispersions reported in literature are underestimated for some of the richest systems. [source]

    Clustering of luminous red galaxies , II.

    Small-scale redshift-space distortions
    ABSTRACT This is the second paper of a series where we study the clustering of luminous red galaxies (LRG) in the recent spectroscopic Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) data release, DR6, which has 75 000 LRG covering over 1 Gpc3 h,3 for 0.15 < z < 0.47. Here, we focus on modelling redshift-space distortions in ,(,, ,), the two-point correlation in separate line-of-sight and perpendicular directions, at small scales and in the line-of-sight. We show that a simple Kaiser model for the anisotropic two-point correlation function in redshift space, convolved with a distribution of random peculiar velocities with an exponential form, can describe well the correlation of LRG on all scales. We show that to describe with accuracy the so-called ,fingers-of-God' (FOG) elongations in the radial direction, it is necessary to model the scale dependence of both bias b and the pairwise rms peculiar velocity ,12 with the distance. We show how both quantities can be inferred from the ,(,, ,) data. From r, 10 Mpc h,1 to r, 1 Mpc h,1, both the bias and ,12 are shown to increase by a factor of 2: from b= 2 to 4 and from ,12= 400 to 800 km s,1. The latter is in good agreement, within a 5 per cent accuracy in the recovered velocities, with direct velocity measurements in dark matter simulations with ,m= 0.25 and ,8= 0.85. [source]

    A halo model of galaxy colours and clustering in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey

    Ramin A. Skibba
    ABSTRACT Successful halo-model descriptions of the luminosity dependence of clustering distinguish between the central galaxy in a halo and all the others (satellites). To include colours, we provide a prescription for how the colour,magnitude relation of centrals and satellites depends on halo mass. This follows from two assumptions: (i) the bimodality of the colour distribution at a fixed luminosity is independent of halo mass and (ii) the fraction of satellite galaxies which populate the red sequence increases with luminosity. We show that these two assumptions allow one to build a model of how galaxy clustering depends on colour without any additional free parameters than those required to model the luminosity dependence of galaxy clustering. We then show that the resulting model is in good agreement with the distribution and clustering of colours in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, both by comparing the predicted correlation functions of red and blue galaxies with measurements and by comparing the predicted colour,mark correlation function with the measured one. Mark correlation functions are powerful tools for identifying and quantifying correlations between galaxy properties and their environments: our results indicate that the correlation between halo mass and environment is the primary driver for correlations between galaxy colours and the environment; additional correlations associated with halo ,assembly bias' are relatively small. Our approach shows explicitly how to construct mock catalogues which include both luminosities and colours , thus providing realistic training sets for, e.g., galaxy cluster-finding algorithms. Our prescription is the first step towards incorporating the entire spectral energy distribution into the halo model approach. [source]

    Are fossil groups a challenge of the cold dark matter paradigm?

    Stefano Zibetti
    ABSTRACT We study six groups and clusters of galaxies suggested in the literature to be ,fossil' systems (i.e. to have luminous diffuse X-ray emission and a magnitude gap of at least 2 mag R between the first and the second ranked member within half of the virial radius), each having good quality X-ray data and Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) spectroscopic or photometric coverage out to the virial radius. The poor cluster AWM 4 is clearly established as a fossil system, and we confirm the fossil nature of four other systems (RX J1331.5+1108, RX J1340.6+4018, RX J1256.0+2556 and RX J1416.4+2315), while the cluster RX J1552.2+2013 is disqualified as fossil system. For all systems, we present the luminosity functions within 0.5 and 1 virial radius that are consistent, within the uncertainties, with the universal luminosity function of clusters. For the five bona fide fossil systems, having a mass range 2 × 1013,3 × 1014 M,, we compute accurate cumulative substructure distribution functions (CSDFs) and compare them with the CSDFs of observed and simulated groups/clusters available in the literature. We demonstrate that the CSDFs of fossil systems are consistent with those of normal observed clusters and do not lack any substructure with respect to simulated galaxy systems in the cosmological , cold dark matter (,CDM) framework. In particular, this holds for the archetype fossil group RX J1340.6+4018 as well, contrary to earlier claims. [source]

    Scale-dependent galaxy bias in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey as a function of luminosity and colour

    James G. Cresswell
    ABSTRACT It has been known for a long time that the clustering of galaxies changes as a function of galaxy type. This galaxy bias acts as a hindrance to the extraction of cosmological information from the galaxy power spectrum or correlation function. Theoretical arguments show that a change in the amplitude of the clustering between galaxies and mass on large scales is unavoidable, but cosmological information can be easily extracted from the shape of the power spectrum or correlation function if this bias is independent of scale. Scale-dependent bias is generally small on large scales, k < 0.1 h Mpc,1, but on smaller scales can affect the recovery of ,mh from the measured shape of the clustering signal, and have a small effect on the Baryon Acoustic Oscillations. In this paper, we investigate the transition from scale-independent to scale-dependent galaxy bias as a function of galaxy population. We use the Sloan Digital Sky Survey Data Release 5 sample to fit various models, which attempt to parametrize the turn-off from scale-independent behaviour. For blue galaxies, we find that the strength of the turn-off is strongly dependent on galaxy luminosity, with stronger scale-dependent bias on larger scales for more luminous galaxies. For red galaxies, the scale dependence is a weaker function of luminosity. Such trends need to be modelled in order to optimally extract the information available in future surveys, and can help with the design of such surveys. [source]

    Satellite kinematics , II.

    The halo mass, luminosity relation of central galaxies in SDSS
    ABSTRACT The kinematics of satellite galaxies reflect the masses of the extended dark matter haloes in which they orbit, and thus shed light on the mass,luminosity relation (MLR) of their corresponding central galaxies. In this paper, we select a large sample of centrals and satellites from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and measure the kinematics (velocity dispersions) of the satellite galaxies as a function of the r -band luminosity of the central galaxies. Using the analytical framework presented in More, van den Bosch & Cacciato, we use these data to infer both the mean and the scatter of the MLR of central galaxies, carefully taking account of selection effects and biases introduced by the stacking procedure. As expected, brighter centrals on average reside in more massive haloes. In addition, we find that the scatter in halo masses for centrals of a given luminosity, ,log M, also increases with increasing luminosity. As we demonstrate, this is consistent with ,log L, which reflects the scatter in the conditional probability function P(Lc|M), being independent of halo mass. Our analysis of the satellite kinematics yields ,log L= 0.16 ± 0.04, in excellent agreement with constraints from clustering and group catalogues, and with predictions from a semi-analytical model of galaxy formation. We thus conclude that the amount of stochasticity in galaxy formation, which is characterized by ,log L, is well constrained, independent of halo mass and in a good agreement with current models of galaxy formation. [source]

    E+A and companion galaxies , I. A catalogue and statistics

    Chisato Yamauchi
    ABSTRACT Based on our intensive spectroscopic campaign with the GoldCam spectrograph on the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) 2.1-m telescope, we have constructed the first catalogue of E+A galaxies with spectroscopic companion galaxies, and investigated a probability that an E+A galaxy has close companion galaxies. We selected 660 E+A galaxies with 4.0 Ĺ < H, EW at a redshift of <0.167 from the Data Release 5 of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We selected their companion candidates from the SDSS imaging data, and classified them into true companions, fore/background galaxies and companion candidates using the SDSS and our KPNO spectra. We observed 26 companion candidates of E+A galaxies at the KPNO to measure their redshifts. Their spectra showed that 17 targets are true companion galaxies. The number of spectroscopically confirmed E+A's companions is now 34. This becomes the first catalogue of E+A galaxies with spectroscopic companion systems. We found that E+A galaxies have 54 per cent larger probability of having companion galaxies (7.88 per cent) as compared to the comparison sample of normal galaxies (5.12 per cent). A statistical test shows that the probabilities are different with 99.7 per cent significance. Our results based on spectroscopy tighten the connection between the dynamical merger/interaction and the origin of E+A galaxies. [source]

    Models of the Cosmic Horseshoe gravitational lens J1004+4112

    S. Dye
    ABSTRACT We model the extremely massive and luminous lens galaxy in the Cosmic Horseshoe Einstein ring system J1004+4112, recently discovered in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We use the semilinear method of Warren & Dye, which pixelizes the source surface brightness distribution, to invert the Einstein ring for sets of parametrized lens models. Here, the method is refined by exploiting Bayesian inference to optimise adaptive pixelization of the source plane and to choose between three differently parametrized models: a singular isothermal ellipsoid, a power-law model and a Navarro, Frenk & White (NFW) profile. The most probable lens model is the power law with a volume mass density ,,r,1.96±0.02 and an axis ratio of ,0.8. The mass within the Einstein ring (i.e. within a cylinder with projected distance of ,30 kpc from the centre of the lens galaxy) is (5.02 ± 0.09) × 1012 M ,, and the mass-to-light ratio is ,30. Even though the lens lies in a group of galaxies, the preferred value of the external shear is almost zero. This makes the Cosmic Horseshoe unique amongst large separation lenses, as almost all the deflection comes from a single, very massive galaxy with little boost from the environment. [source]

    Constraints on the angular distribution of satellite galaxies about spiral hosts

    Jason H. Steffen
    ABSTRACT We present, using a novel technique, a study of the angular distribution of satellite galaxies around a sample of isolated, blue host galaxies selected from the sixth data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. As a complement to previous studies, we subdivide the sample of galaxies into bins of differing inclination and use the systematic differences that would exist between the different bins as the basis for our approach. We parametrize the cumulative distribution function of satellite galaxies and apply a maximum likelihood, Monte Carlo technique to determine allowable distributions, which we show as an exclusion plot. We find that the allowed distributions of the satellites of spiral hosts are very nearly isotropic. We outline our formalism and our analysis and discuss how this technique may be refined for future studies and future surveys. [source]

    Two-Micron All-Sky Survey J01542930+0053266: a new eclipsing M dwarf binary system

    A. C. Becker
    ABSTRACT We report on Two-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) J01542930+0053266, a faint eclipsing system composed of two M dwarfs. The variability of this system was originally discovered during a pilot study of the 2MASS Calibration Point Source Working Data base. Additional photometry from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey yields an eight-passband light curve from which we derive an orbital period of 2.639 0157 ± 0.000 0016 d. Spectroscopic followup confirms our photometric classification of the system, which is likely composed of M0 and M1 dwarfs. Radial velocity measurements allow us to derive the masses (M1= 0.66 ± 0.03 M,; M2= 0.62 ± 0.03 M,) and radii (R1= 0.64 ± 0.08 R,; R2= 0.61 ± 0.09 R,) of the components, which are consistent with empirical mass,radius relationships for low-mass stars in binary systems. We perform Monte Carlo simulations of the light curves which allow us to uncover complicated degeneracies between the system parameters. Both stars show evidence of H, emission, something not common in early-type M dwarfs. This suggests that binarity may influence the magnetic activity properties of low-mass stars; activity in the binary may persist long after the dynamos in their isolated counterparts have decayed, yielding a new potential foreground of flaring activity for next generation variability surveys. [source]

    Biases in the polarization position angles in the NRAO-VLA sky survey point source catalogue

    R. A. Battye
    ABSTRACT We have examined the statistics of the polarization position angles determined for point sources in the NRAO-VLA Sky Survey (NVSS), and find that there is a statistically significant bias towards angles which are multiples of 45°. The formal probability that the polarization angles are drawn from a uniform distribution is exponentially small. When the sample of those NVSS sources with polarizations detected with a signal-to-noise ratio ,3 is split either around the median polarized flux density or the median fractional polarization, the effect appears to be stronger for the more highly polarized sources. Regions containing strong sources and regions at low-Galactic latitudes are not responsible for the non-uniform distribution of position angles. We identify clean bias as the probable cause of the dominant effect, coupled with small multiplicative and additive offsets on each of the Stokes parameters. Our findings have implications for the extraction of science, such as information concerning galactic magnetic fields, from large-scale polarization surveys. [source]

    On the variability of quasars: a link between the Eddington ratio and optical variability?

    Brian C. Wilhite
    ABSTRACT Repeat scans by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) of a 278-deg2 stripe along the celestial equator have yielded an average of over 10 observations each for nearly 8000 spectroscopically confirmed quasars. Over 2500 of these quasars are in the redshift range such that the C iv, 1549 emission line is visible in the SDSS spectrum. Utilizing the width of these C iv lines and the luminosity of the nearby continuum, we estimate black hole masses for these objects. In an effort to isolate the effects of black hole mass and luminosity on the photometric variability of our data set, we create several subsamples by binning in these two physical parameters. By comparing the ensemble structure functions of the quasars in these bins, we are able to reproduce the well-known anticorrelation between luminosity and variability, now showing that this anticorrelation is independent of the black hole mass. In addition, we find a correlation between variability and the mass of the central black hole. By combining these two relations, we identify the Eddington ratio as a possible driver of quasar variability, most likely due to differences in accretion efficiency. [source]

    Post-common-envelope binaries from SDSS , I. 101 white dwarf main-sequence binaries with multiple Sloan Digital Sky Survey spectroscopy

    A. Rebassa-Mansergas
    ABSTRACT We present a detailed analysis of 101 white dwarf main-sequence binaries (WDMS) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) for which multiple SDSS spectra are available. We detect significant radial velocity variations in 18 WDMS, identifying them as post-common-envelope binaries (PCEBs) or strong PCEB candidates. Strict upper limits to the orbital periods are calculated, ranging from 0.43 to 7880 d. Given the sparse temporal sampling and relatively low spectral resolution of the SDSS spectra, our results imply a PCEB fraction of ,15 per cent among the WDMS in the SDSS data base. Using a spectral decomposition/fitting technique we determined the white dwarf effective temperatures and surface gravities, masses and secondary star spectral types for all WDMS in our sample. Two independent distance estimates are obtained from the flux-scaling factors between the WDMS spectra, and the white dwarf models and main-sequence star templates, respectively. Approximately one-third of the systems in our sample show a significant discrepancy between the two distance estimates. In the majority of discrepant cases, the distance estimate based on the secondary star is too large. A possible explanation for this behaviour is that the secondary star spectral types that we determined from the SDSS spectra are systematically too early by one to two spectral classes. This behaviour could be explained by stellar activity, if covering a significant fraction of the star by cool dark spots will raise the temperature of the interspot regions. Finally, we discuss the selection effects of the WDMS sample provided by the SDSS project. [source]

    Are galaxies with active galactic nuclei a transition population?

    P. B. Westoby
    ABSTRACT We present the results of an analysis of a well-selected sample of galaxies with active and inactive galactic nuclei from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, in the range 0.01 < z < 0.16. The SDSS galaxy catalogue was split into two classes of active galaxies, Type 2 active galactic nuclei (AGN) and composites, and one set of inactive, star-forming/passive galaxies. For each active galaxy, two inactive control galaxies were selected by matching redshift, absolute magnitude, inclination, and radius. The sample of inactive galaxies naturally divides into a red and a blue sequence, while the vast majority of AGN hosts occur along the red sequence. In terms of H, equivalent width (EW), the population of composite galaxies peaks in the valley between the two modes, suggesting a transition population. However, this effect is not observed in other properties such as the colour,magnitude space or colour,concentration plane. Active galaxies are seen to be generally bulge-dominated systems, but with enhanced H, emission compared to inactive red-sequence galaxies. AGN and composites also occur in less dense environments than inactive red-sequence galaxies, implying that the fuelling of AGN is more restricted in high-density environments. These results are therefore inconsistent with theories in which AGN host galaxies are a ,transition' population. We also introduce a systematic 3D spectroscopic imaging survey, to quantify and compare the gaseous and stellar kinematics of a well-selected, distance-limited sample of up to 20 nearby Seyfert galaxies, and 20 inactive control galaxies with well-matched optical properties. The survey aims to search for dynamical triggers of nuclear activity and address outstanding controversies in optical/infrared imaging surveys. [source]

    The UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS)

    A. Lawrence
    ABSTRACT We describe the goals, design, implementation, and initial progress of the UKIRT Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS), a seven-year sky survey which began in 2005 May. UKIDSS is being carried out using the UKIRT Wide Field Camera (WFCAM), which has the largest étendue of any infrared astronomical instrument to date. It is a portfolio of five survey components covering various combinations of the filter set ZYJHK and H2. The Large Area Survey, the Galactic Clusters Survey, and the Galactic Plane Survey cover approximately 7000 deg2 to a depth of K, 18; the Deep Extragalactic Survey covers 35 deg2 to K, 21, and the Ultra Deep Survey covers 0.77 deg2 to K, 23. Summed together UKIDSS is 12 times larger in effective volume than the 2MASS survey. The prime aim of UKIDSS is to provide a long-term astronomical legacy data base; the design is, however, driven by a series of specific goals , for example, to find the nearest and faintest substellar objects, to discover Population II brown dwarfs, if they exist, to determine the substellar mass function, to break the z= 7 quasar barrier; to determine the epoch of re-ionization, to measure the growth of structure from z= 3 to the present day, to determine the epoch of spheroid formation, and to map the Milky Way through the dust, to several kpc. The survey data are being uniformly processed. Images and catalogues are being made available through a fully queryable user interface , the WFCAM Science Archive ( The data are being released in stages. The data are immediately public to astronomers in all ESO member states, and available to the world after 18 months. Before the formal survey began, UKIRT and the UKIDSS consortia collaborated in obtaining and analysing a series of small science verification (SV) projects to complete the commissioning of the camera. We show some results from these SV projects in order to demonstrate the likely power of the eventual complete survey. Finally, using the data from the First Data Release, we assess how well UKIDSS is meeting its design targets so far. [source]

    Imaging and spectroscopy of ultrasteep spectrum radio sources,

    Carlos G. Bornancini
    ABSTRACT We present a sample of 40 ultrasteep spectrum (USS; ,,, 1.3, S,,,,) radio sources selected from the Westerbork in the Southern Hemisphere (WISH) catalogue. The USS sources have been imaged in K band at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) and with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Cerro Paranal. We also present VLT, Keck and William Herschel Telescope (WHT) optical spectroscopy of 14 targets selection from four different USS samples. For 12 sources, we have been able to determine the redshifts, including four new radio galaxies at z > 3. We find that most of our USS sources have predominantly small (<6 arcsec) radio sizes and faint magnitudes (K, 18). The mean K -band counterpart magnitude is . The expected redshift distribution estimated using the Hubble K,z diagram has a mean of , which is higher than the predicted redshift obtained for the Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey,NRAO VLA Sky Survey (SUMSS,NVSS) sample and the expected redshift obtained in the 6C** survey. The compact USS sample analysed here may contain a higher fraction of galaxies which are high redshift and/or are heavily obscured by dust. Using the 74, 352 and 1400 MHz flux densities of a subsample, we construct a radio colour,colour diagram. We find that all but one of our USS sources have a strong tendency to flatten below 352 MHz. We also find that the highest redshift source from this paper (at z= 3.84) does not show evidence for spectral flattening down to 151 MHz. This suggests that very low frequency selected USS samples will likely be more efficient to find high redshift galaxies. [source]

    The properties of Jovian Trojan asteroids listed in SDSS Moving Object Catalogue 3

    Gy. M. Szabó
    ABSTRACT We analyse 1187 observations of about 860 unique candidate Jovian Trojan asteroids listed in the 3rd release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) Moving Object Catalogue. The sample is complete at the faint end to r= 21.2 mag (apparent brightness) and H= 13.8 (absolute brightness, approximately corresponding to 10 km diameter). A subset of 297 detections of previously known Trojans were used to design and optimize a selection method based on observed angular velocity that resulted in the remaining objects. Using a sample of objects with known orbits, we estimate that the candidate sample contamination is about 3 per cent. The well-controlled selection effects, the sample size, depth and accurate five-band UV,IR photometry enabled several new findings and the placement of older results on a firmer statistical footing. We find that there are significantly more asteroids in the leading swarm (L4) than in the trailing swarm (L5): N(L4)/N(L5) = 1.6 ± 0.1, independently of limiting object's size. The overall counts normalization suggests that there are about as many Jovians Trojans as there are main-belt asteroids down to the same size limit, in agreement with earlier estimates. We find that Trojan asteroids have a remarkably narrow colour distribution (root mean scatter of only ,0.05 mag) that is significantly different from the colour distribution of the main-belt asteroids. The colour of Trojan asteroids is correlated with their orbital inclination, in a similar way for both swarms, but appears uncorrelated with the object's size. We extrapolate the results presented here and estimate that the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will determine orbits, accurate colours and measure light curves in six photometric bandpasses for about 100 000 Jovian Trojan asteroids. [source]

    G315.1+2.7: a new Galactic supernova remnant from the AAO/UKST H, survey

    M. Stupar
    ABSTRACT New narrow-band H, imaging and subsequent optical spectra confirm G315.1+2.7, a previously identified candidate supernova remnant (SNR), as a bona fide Galactic SNR. Present observations are based on independent discovery of filamentary optical emission nebulosity on images of the Anglo-Australian Observatory/United Kingdom Schmidt Telescope H, survey of the southern Galactic plane which were found to coincide with existing multifrequency radio detections. Separate medium- and high-dispersion spectra were taken across two locations of this 11-arcmin north,south (NS) aligned optical filament. The resulting spectral signatures were found to strongly confirm the SNR identification based on standard emission-line ratio discriminators which characterize emission from shock-heated gas. The average observed ratios of S ii/H,= 1.13, N ii/H,= 1.43 and S ii 6717/6731 = 1.46, together with the simultaneous detection of [O ii] 3727, [O iii] 5007 and [O i] 6300 Ĺ, all point to a SNR origin of the observed optical emission. There is also an excellent positional coincidence between the new H, filament and the north-east radio arc of G315.1+2.7 seen at several frequencies. Careful scrutiny of the low-resolution but high-sensitivity Southern H, Sky Survey Atlas also revealed a low-level but distinct optical emission arc. This arc precisely correlates with the large, 2.5°, NS angular extent of the proposed new SNR also seen as a fractured structure in the extant radio data. G315.1+2.7 was detected previously at 2400 and 4800 MHz and at 408 and 1420 MHz. We also identified associated radio emission at 843 MHz from the now publicly available Sydney University Molonglo Sky Survey. On the basis of optical imaging and spectra and radio observations at five frequencies, we identify G315.1+2.7 as a new Galactic SNR. The large projected angular extent of the new remnant, together with the distance estimate of ,1.7 kpc and diameter of ,80 pc, make G315.1+2.7 one of the largest remnants known. [source]

    The clustering of narrow-line AGN in the local Universe

    Cheng Li
    ABSTRACT We have analysed the clustering of ,90 000 narrow-line active galactic nuclei (AGN) drawn from the Data Release 4 (DR4) of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Our analysis addresses the following questions. (i) How do the locations of galaxies within the large-scale distribution of dark matter influence ongoing accretion on to their central black holes? (ii) Is AGN activity triggered by interactions or mergers between galaxies? We compute the cross-correlation between AGN and a reference sample of galaxies drawn from the DR4. We compare this to results for control samples of inactive galaxies matched simultaneously in redshift, stellar mass, concentration, velocity dispersion and mean stellar age, as measured by the 4000-Ĺ break strength. We also compare near-neighbour counts around AGN and around the control galaxies. On scales larger than a few Mpc, AGN have almost the same clustering amplitude as the control sample. This demonstrates that AGN host galaxies and inactive control galaxies populate dark matter haloes of similar mass. On scales between 100 kpc and 1 Mpc, AGN are clustered more weakly than the control galaxies. We use mock catalogues constructed from high-resolution N -body simulations to interpret this antibias, showing that the observed effect is easily understood if AGN are preferentially located at the centres of their dark matter haloes. On scales less than 70 kpc, AGN cluster marginally more strongly than the control sample, but the effect is weak. When compared to the control sample, we find that only one in 100 AGN has an extra neighbour within a radius of 70 kpc. This excess increases as a function of the accretion rate on to the black hole, but it does not rise above the few per cent level. Although interactions between galaxies may be responsible for triggering nuclear activity in a minority of nearby AGN, some other mechanism is required to explain the activity seen in the majority of the objects in our sample. [source]

    A fast hybrid algorithm for exoplanetary transit searches

    A. Collier Cameron
    ABSTRACT We present a fast and efficient hybrid algorithm for selecting exoplanetary candidates from wide-field transit surveys. Our method is based on the widely used SysRem and Box Least-Squares (BLS) algorithms. Patterns of systematic error that are common to all stars on the frame are mapped and eliminated using the SysRem algorithm. The remaining systematic errors caused by spatially localized flat-fielding and other errors are quantified using a boxcar-smoothing method. We show that the dimensions of the search-parameter space can be reduced greatly by carrying out an initial BLS search on a coarse grid of reduced dimensions, followed by Newton,Raphson refinement of the transit parameters in the vicinity of the most significant solutions. We illustrate the method's operation by applying it to data from one field of the SuperWASP survey, comprising 2300 observations of 7840 stars brighter than V= 13.0. We identify 11 likely transit candidates. We reject stars that exhibit significant ellipsoidal variations caused indicative of a stellar-mass companion. We use colours and proper motions from the Two Micron All Sky Survey and USNO-B1.0 surveys to estimate the stellar parameters and the companion radius. We find that two stars showing unambiguous transit signals pass all these tests, and so qualify for detailed high-resolution spectroscopic follow-up. [source]

    Emission-line diagnostics of low-metallicity active galactic nuclei

    Brent A. Groves
    ABSTRACT Current emission-line-based estimates of the metallicity of active galactic nuclei (AGN) at both high and low redshifts indicate that AGN have predominantly solar-to-supersolar metallicities. This leads to the question: do low-metallicity AGN exist? In this paper, we use photoionization models to examine the effects of metallicity variations on the narrow emission-lines from an AGN. We explore a variety of emission-line diagnostics that are useful for identifying AGN with low-metallicity gas. We find that line ratios involving [N ii] are the most robust metallicity indicators in galaxies where the primary source of ionization is from the active nucleus. Ratios involving [S ii] and [O i] are strongly affected by uncertainties in modelling the density structure of the narrow-line clouds. To test our diagnostics, we turn to an analysis of AGN in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). We find a clear trend in the relative strength of [N ii] with the mass of the AGN-host galaxy. The metallicity of the ISM is known to be correlated with stellar mass in star-forming galaxies; our results indicate that a similar trend exists for AGN. We also find that the best-fitting models for typical Seyfert narrow-line regions (NLRs) have supersolar abundances. Although there is a mass-dependent range of a factor of 2,3 in the NLR metallicities of the AGN in our sample, AGN with subsolar metallicities are very rare in the SDSS. Out of a sample of ,23 000 Seyfert 2 galaxies, we find only ,40 clear candidates for AGN with NLR abundances that are below solar. [source]

    galics, V: Low- and high-order clustering in mock Sloan Digital Sky Surveys

    Jérémy Blaizot
    ABSTRACT We use the galics hybrid model of galaxy formation to explore the nature of galaxy clustering in the local Universe. We bring the theoretical predictions of our model into the observational plane using the momaf software to build mock catalogues which mimic Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) observations. We measure low- and high-order angular clustering statistic from these mock catalogues, after selecting galaxies the same way as for observations, and compare them directly to estimates from the SDSS data. Note that we also present the first measurements of high-order statistics on the SDSS DR1. We find that our model is in general good agreement with observations in the scale/luminosity range where we can trust the predictions. This range is found to be limited (i) by the size of the dark matter simulation used , which introduces finite volume effects at large scales , and by the mass resolution of this simulation , which introduces incompleteness at apparent magnitudes fainter than r, 20. We then focus on the small-scale clustering properties of galaxies and investigate the behaviour of three different prescriptions for positioning galaxies within haloes of dark matter. We show that galaxies are poor tracers of either DM particles or DM substructures, within groups and clusters. Instead, SDSS data tells us that the distribution of galaxies lies somewhat in between these two populations. This confirms the general theoretical expectation from numerical simulations and semi-analytic modelling. [source]

    The alignment between the distribution of satellites and the orientation of their central galaxy

    Xiaohu Yang
    ABSTRACT We use galaxy groups selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey to examine the alignment between the orientation of the central galaxy (defined as the brightest group member) and the distribution of satellite galaxies. By construction, we therefore only address the alignment on scales smaller than the halo virial radius. We find a highly significant alignment of satellites with the major axis of their central galaxy. This is in qualitative agreement with the recent study of Brainerd, but inconsistent with several previous studies who detected a preferential minor-axis alignment. The alignment strength in our sample is strongest between red central galaxies and red satellites. On the contrary, the satellite distribution in systems with a blue central galaxy is consistent with isotropic. We also find that the alignment strength is stronger in more massive haloes and at smaller projected radii from the central galaxy. In addition, there is a weak indication that fainter (relative to the central galaxy) satellites are more strongly aligned. We present a detailed comparison with previous studies, and discuss the implications of our findings for galaxy formation. [source]

    Further 2MASS mapping of hot dust in planetary nebulae

    J. P. Phillips
    ABSTRACT We have used 2 Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) mapping results to investigate the distribution of hot dust continua in 12 planetary nebulae (PNe). The nature of this emission is unclear, but it is possible that where the continuum is extended, as is the case for M 1-12 and NGC 40, then the grains concerned may be very small indeed. The absorption of individual photons by such grains may lead to sharp spikes in temperature, as has previously discussed for several other such outflows. Other sources (such as MaC 1-4, He 2-25, B1 2-1 and K 3-15) appear to be relatively compact, and the high temperatures observed are understandable in terms of more normal heating processes. It is possible that the grains in these cases are experiencing high radiant flux levels. Finally, it is noted that whilst the core of M 2-2 appears to show hot grain emission, this is less the case for its more extended envelope. The situation may, in this case, be similar to that of NGC 2346, in which much of the emission is located within an unresolved nucleus. Similarly, it is noted that in addition to hot dust and gas thermal continua, the emission in the interior of NGC 40 may be enhanced through rotational,vibrational transitions of H2, and/or the 2p3P0,2s3S transition of He i. [source]

    The possible detection of high-redshift Type II QSOs in deep fields

    Avery Meiksin
    ABSTRACT The colours of high-redshift Type II quasi-stellar objects (QSOs) are synthesized from observations of moderate-redshift systems. It is shown that Type II QSOs are comparable to starbursts at matching the colours of z850 -dropouts and i775 -drops in the Hubble UltraDeep Field, and more naturally account for the bluest objects detected. Type II QSOs may also account for some of the i775 -drops detected in the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) fields. It is shown that by combining imaging data from the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope, it will be possible to clearly separate Type II QSOs from Type I QSOs and starbursts based on their colours. Similarly, it is shown that the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) Infrared Deep Sky Survey (UKIDSS) ZYJ filters may be used to discriminate high-redshift Type II QSOs from other objects. If Type II QSOs are prevalent at high redshifts, then active galactic nuclei (AGNs) may be major contributors to the re-ionization of the intergalactic medium. [source]