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SN1991bg-like supernovae are a distinct subclass of thermonuclear Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia). Their spectral and photometric peculiarities indicate that their progenitors and explosion mechanisms differ from ‘normal’ SNe Ia. One method of determining information about supernova progenitors we cannot directly observe is to observe the stellar population adjacent to the apparent supernova explosion site to infer the distribution of stellar population ages and metallicities. We obtain integral field observations and analyse the spectra extracted from regions of projected radius
about the apparent SN explosion site for 11 91bg-like SNe in both early- and late-type galaxies. We utilise full-spectrum spectral fitting to determine the ages and metallicities of the stellar population within the aperture. We find that the majority of the stellar populations that hosted 91bg-like supernovae have little recent star formation. The ages of the stellar populations suggest that that 91bg-like SN progenitors explode after delay times of >6 Gyr, much longer than the typical delay time of normal SNe Ia, which peaks at
The SkyMapper Transient survey (SMT) is exploring variability in the southern sky by performing (a) a rolling search to discover and study supernovæ, and (b) a Target of Opportunity programme that uses the robotic SkyMapper Telescope at Siding Spring Observatory. The supernova survey is obtaining a non-targeted sample of Type Ia supernovæ (SNe Ia) at low redshifts, z < 0.1, and studying other interesting transients found with the search strategy. We have a Target of Opportunity programme with an automatic response mechanism to search for optical counterparts to gravitational-wave and fast radio-burst events; it benefits from SkyMapper’s large field of view of 5.7 sq. deg. and a rapid data reduction pipeline.
We present first results of the SMT survey. The SMT pipeline can process and obtain potential candidates within 12 hours of observation. It disentangles real transients from processing artefacts using a machine-learning algorithm. To date, SMT has discovered over 60 spectroscopically confirmed supernovæ, several peculiar objects, and over 40 SNe Ia including one (SNIa 2016hhd) which was found within the first few days of explosion. We have also participated in searches for optical counterparts of gravitational waves, fast radio bursts and other transients, and have published observations of the optical counterpart of the gravitational-wave event GW170817. We also participate in coordinated observations with the Deeper Wider Faster programme, and the Kepler K2 cosmology project.
We have observed the oxygen-rich SNR 1E 0102.2-7219 with the integral field spectrograph WiFeS at Siding Spring Observatory and discovered sulfur-rich ejecta for the first time. Follow-up deep DDT observations with MUSE on the VLT (8100 s on source) reaching down to a noise level of ~5 × 10−20ergs−1cm−2Å−1spaxel−1 have led to the additional discovery of fast-moving hydrogen as well as argon-rich and chlorine-rich material. The detection of fast-moving hydrogen knots challenges the interpretation that the progenitor of 1E 0102 was a compact core of a Wolf-Rayet star that had shed its entire envelope. In addition to the detection of hydrogen and the products of oxygen-burning, this unprecedented sharp (0.2″ spaxel size at ~0.7″ seeing) and deep MUSE view of an oxygen-rich SNR in the Magellanic Clouds reveals further exciting discoveries, including [Fe xiv]λ5303 and [Fe xi]λ7892 emission, which we associate with the forward shock. We present this exciting data set and discuss some of its implications for the explosion mechanism and nucleosynthesis of the associated supernova.
This paper presents the first major data release and survey description for the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme. ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme is an ongoing supernova spectroscopy campaign utilising the Wide Field Spectrograph on the Australian National University 2.3-m telescope. The first and primary data release of this programme (AWSNAP-DR1) releases 357 spectra of 175 unique objects collected over 82 equivalent full nights of observing from 2012 July to 2015 August. These spectra have been made publicly available via the WISEREP supernova spectroscopy repository.
We analyse the ANU WiFeS SuperNovA Programme sample of Type Ia supernova spectra, including measurements of narrow sodium absorption features afforded by the high spectral resolution of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument. In some cases, we were able to use the integral-field nature of the Wide Field Spectrograph instrument to measure the rotation velocity of the SN host galaxy near the SN location in order to obtain precision sodium absorption velocities. We also present an extensive time series of SN 2012dn, including a near-nebular spectrum which both confirms its ‘super-Chandrasekhar’ status and enables measurement of the sub-solar host metallicity at the SN site.
In 1979 we started a monitoring program of Seyfert galaxies, using various telescopes at ESO (La Silla, Chile). At present this program is still continuing, but here we discuss only the photometric data obtained in the period 1979–1982.
The Milky Way Galaxy glows with the soft gamma ray emission resulting from the annihilation of ~5 × 1043 electron-positron pairs every second. The origin of this vast quantity of antimatter and the peculiar morphology of the 511keV gamma ray line resulting from this annihilation have been the subject of debate for almost half a century. Most obvious positron sources are associated with star forming regions and cannot explain the rate of positron annihilation in the Galactic bulge, which last saw star formation some 10 Gyr ago, or else violate stringent constraints on the positron injection energy. Radioactive decay of elements formed in core collapse supernovae (CCSNe) and normal Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) could supply positrons matching the injection energy constraints but the distribution of such potential sources does not replicate the required morphology. We show that a single class of peculiar thermonuclear supernova - SN1991bg-like supernovae (SNe 91bg) - can supply the number and distribution of positrons we see annihilating in the Galaxy through the decay of 44Ti synthesised in these events. Such 44Ti production simultaneously addresses the observed abundance of 44Ca, the 44Ti decay product, in solar system material.
This paper investigates a method for autonomous obstacle avoidance for fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), utilising potential fluid flow theory. The obstacle avoidance algorithm needs only compute the instantaneous local potential velocity vector, which is passed to the flight control laws as a direction command. The approach is reactive, and can readily accommodate real-time changes in obstacle information. UAV manoeuvring constraints on turning or pull-up radii, are accounted for by approximating obstacles by bounding rectangles, with wedges added to their front and back to shape the resulting fluid pathlines. It is shown that the resulting potential flow velocity field is completely determined by the obstacle field geometry, allowing one to determine a non-dimensional relationship between obstacle added wedge-length and the corresponding minimum pathline radius of curvature, which can then be readily scaled in on-board implementation. The efficacy of the proposed approach has been demonstrated numerically with an Aerosonde UAV model.
The Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope (WSRT) has now been used to make source surveys at frequencies of 610 and 1415 MHz. This paper summarizes the results concerning source counts and anisotropies in the distribution of sources from those surveys not concerned with clusters of galaxies.
The WSRT yields samples of radio sources which are well suited for systematic identification work for the following reasons:
a)The surface density is high: at 1415 MHz an average of 10 to 30 sources can be detected within 0°.55 from the field centre; at 610 MHz the numbers are 40 to 100 within 1°.0. In any given field, most sources will fall within the boundaries of plates for the present generation of optical telescopes.
b)The positional accuracy is, on the whole, rather high. One can thus propose identifications based on positional agreement only, avoiding selection effects present when selecting “on type”.
Although adjuvant chemotherapy (CT) for breast cancer (BC) is associated with very late side-effects on cognition and brain function, studies on adverse effects of specific treatment regimens are scarce. Here, neurotoxicity profiles after different treatment strategies were compared in BC survivors randomized to high-dose (HI) or conventional-dose (CON-) CT, in women treated with radiotherapy (RT) -only and a healthy control (HC) group. We administered a neurocognitive test battery, a planning fMRI task (Tower of London) and episodic memory fMRI task (Paired Associates paradigm) in BC survivors who received CON-CT (n=24) and HC (n=27). Data were compared to BC survivors who received HI-CT (n=17) and RT-only (n=15) and who were previously assessed. Testing took place ±11.5 years post-CT. Furthermore, neurocognitive data were compared to neurocognitive data acquired ≤2 years post-treatment. Cognitive assessment revealed sustained cognitive decline in 10.5% of HI-CT, 8.3% of CON-CT, 6.7% of RT-only patients and 0% in the HC. Hypoactivation was found in task-related prefrontal and parietal areas for both CT-groups versus RT-only, with HI-CT showing more pronounced hypoactivation than CON-CT, combined with worse task performance. RT-only survivors performed at a similar level to HC while showing hyperactivation in task-related brain areas. Long after treatment, CT is associated with cognitive problems and task-related hypoactivation that depend on the specific cytotoxic regimen. This worse performance in patients who received CT could be explained by impaired brain functioning that is more severe with more intense CT. (JINS, 2015, 21, 50–61)
The palaeoenvironments associated with Australopithecus (Paranthropus) robustus have generally been reconstructed as habitat mosaics; typically open, arid grasslands in the vicinity of woodlands or forests with a nearby source of permanent water. Disentangling which aspect(s) of these mosaics might have been preferred by the hominins presents a significant challenge. The aim of this study is to enhance our resolution of animal palaeocommunity structure in the Bloubank river valley of South Africa in order to test which ecological conditions might have been favoured or avoided by A. robustus. Faunal assemblage data were collected from a series of hominin-bearing deposits including Kromdraai, Swartkrans, Sterkfontein and Coopers (locality D). Taphonomic data revealed the presence of a potential bias resulting from depositional matrix, though our analysis demonstrated there was no association between taphonomic conditions and taxonomic composition. A selection of environmentally sensitive taxa was assigned to a series of ecological categories based on isotopic, ecomorphological and taxonomic evidence. Correspondence analysis was used to assess changes in faunal composition between assemblages. Results indicate that the more open, arid-adapted taxa there are in a given assemblage, the fewer hominins there tend to be. Rather than reflecting the habitat preference of A. robustus, these data indicate a pattern of habitat avoidance that is inconsistent with a reconstruction of this hominin as an open, arid specialist. We conclude that the hominins were capable of subsisting in sub-optimal habitats as a result of their capacity to significantly alter their dietary patterns in favour of less preferred food items when conditions dictated.
Functional neuroimaging studies have shown increased Stroop interference coupled with altered anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insula activation in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These brain areas are associated with error detection and emotional arousal. There is some evidence that treatment can normalize these activation patterns.
At baseline, we compared classic and emotional Stroop performance and blood oxygenation level-dependent responses (functional magnetic resonance imaging) of 29 child abuse-related complex PTSD patients with 22 non-trauma-exposed healthy controls. In 16 of these patients, we studied treatment effects of psycho-educational and cognitive behavioural stabilizing group treatment (experimental treatment; EXP) added to treatment as usual (TAU) versus TAU only, and correlations with clinical improvement.
At baseline, complex PTSD patients showed a trend for increased left anterior insula and dorsal ACC activation in the classic Stroop task. Only EXP patients showed decreased dorsal ACC and left anterior insula activation after treatment. In the emotional Stroop contrasts, clinical improvement was associated with decreased dorsal ACC activation and decreased left anterior insula activation.
We found further evidence that successful treatment in child abuse-related complex PTSD is associated with functional changes in the ACC and insula, which may be due to improved selective attention and lower emotional arousal, indicating greater cognitive control over PTSD symptoms.
Studies suggested that in human adults, linoleic acid (LA) inhibits the biosynthesis of n-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA), but their effects in growing subjects are largely unknown. We used growing pigs as a model to investigate whether high LA intake affects the conversion of n-3 LC-PUFA by determining fatty acid composition and mRNA levels of Δ5- and Δ6 desaturase and elongase 2 and -5 in liver and brain. In a 2 × 2 factorial arrangement, 32 gilts from eight litters were assigned to one of the four dietary treatments, varying in LA and α-linolenic acid (ALA) intakes. Low ALA and LA intakes were 0.15 and 1.31, and high ALA and LA intakes were 1.48 and 2.65 g/kg BW0.75 per day, respectively. LA intake increased arachidonic acid (ARA) in liver. ALA intake increased eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) concentrations, but decreased docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (all P < 0.01) in liver. Competition between the n-3 and n-6 LC-PUFA biosynthetic pathways was evidenced by reductions of ARA (>40%) at high ALA intakes. Concentration of EPA (>35%) and DHA (>20%) was decreased by high LA intake (all P < 0.001). Liver mRNA levels of Δ5- and Δ6 desaturase were increased by LA, and that of elongase 2 by both ALA and LA intakes. In contrast, brain DHA was virtually unaffected by dietary LA and ALA. Generally, dietary LA inhibited the biosynthesis of n-3 LC-PUFA in liver. ALA strongly affects the conversion of both hepatic n-3 and n-6 LC-PUFA. DHA levels in brain were irresponsive to these diets. Apart from Δ6 desaturase, elongase 2 may be a rate-limiting enzyme in the formation of DHA.
Several progenitor scenarios have been suggested for Type Ia supernovae. Here we discuss the consequences for the explosion mechanism and for observables of some of them, which are explored by means of multi-dimensional hydrodynamic and radiation transfer simulations. While the observables predicted from delayed detonations of Chandrasekhar-mass white dwarfs agree reasonably well with the data, the corresponding progenitor systems may be too rare to account for the observed rate of Type Ia supernovae. Several alternatives are investigated of which violent mergers of two white dwarfs and, perhaps, double detonations of sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs hold promise for reproducing the observables of normal Type Ia supernovae.
We argue that detonations of sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs can lead to bright explosions with light curves and spectra similar to those of observed Type Ia supernovae. Given that binary systems containing accreting sub-Chandrasekhar mass white dwarfs should be common, this suggests that a non-negligible fraction of the observed Type Ia supernova rate may arise from sub-Chandrasekhar mass explosions, if they can be ignited. We discuss aspects of how such explosions might be realized in nature and both merits and challenges associated with invoking sub-Chandrasekhar mass explosion models to account for observed Type Ia supernovae.
African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus) occupy an ecological niche characterized by hypercarnivory and cursorial hunting. Previous interpretations drawn from a limited, mostly Eurasian fossil record suggest that the evolutionary shift to cursorial hunting preceded the emergence of hypercarnivory in the Lycaon lineage. Here we describe 1.9—1.0 ma fossils from two South African sites representing a putative ancestor of the wild dog. the holotype is a nearly complete maxilla from Coopers Cave, and another specimen tentatively assigned to the new taxon, from Gladysvale, is the most nearly complete mammalian skeleton ever described from the Sterkfontein Valley, Gauteng, South Africa. the canid represented by these fossils is larger and more robust than are any of the other fossil or extant sub-Saharan canids. Unlike other purported L. pictus ancestors, it has distinct accessory cusps on its premolars and anterior accessory cuspids on its lower premolars—a trait unique to Lycaon among living canids. However, another hallmark autapomorphy of L. pictus, the tetradactyl manus, is not found in the new species; the Gladysvale skeleton includes a large first metacarpal. Thus, the anatomy of this new early member of the Lycaon branch suggests that, contrary to previous hypotheses, dietary specialization appears to have preceded cursorial hunting in the evolution of the Lycaon lineage. We assign these specimens to the taxon Lycaon sekowei n. sp.