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With the recent discovery of a dozen dusty star-forming galaxies and around 30 quasars at z > 5 that are hyper-luminous in the infrared (μ LIR > 1013 L⊙, where μ is a lensing magnification factor), the possibility has opened up for SPICA, the proposed ESA M5 mid-/far-infrared mission, to extend its spectroscopic studies toward the epoch of reionisation and beyond. In this paper, we examine the feasibility and scientific potential of such observations with SPICA’s far-infrared spectrometer SAFARI, which will probe a spectral range (35–230 μm) that will be unexplored by ALMA and JWST. Our simulations show that SAFARI is capable of delivering good-quality spectra for hyper-luminous infrared galaxies at z = 5 − 10, allowing us to sample spectral features in the rest-frame mid-infrared and to investigate a host of key scientific issues, such as the relative importance of star formation versus AGN, the hardness of the radiation field, the level of chemical enrichment, and the properties of the molecular gas. From a broader perspective, SAFARI offers the potential to open up a new frontier in the study of the early Universe, providing access to uniquely powerful spectral features for probing first-generation objects, such as the key cooling lines of low-metallicity or metal-free forming galaxies (fine-structure and H2 lines) and emission features of solid compounds freshly synthesised by Population III supernovae. Ultimately, SAFARI’s ability to explore the high-redshift Universe will be determined by the availability of sufficiently bright targets (whether intrinsically luminous or gravitationally lensed). With its launch expected around 2030, SPICA is ideally positioned to take full advantage of upcoming wide-field surveys such as LSST, SKA, Euclid, and WFIRST, which are likely to provide extraordinary targets for SAFARI.
Background: To determine whether exosomal microRNAs (miRNAs) in CSF of patients with FTD can serve as diagnostic biomarkers, we assessed miRNA expression in the Genetic FTD Initiative (GENFI) cohort and in sporadic FTD. Methods: GENFI participants were either carriers of a pathogenic mutation or at risk of carrying a mutation because a first-degree relative was a symptomatic mutation carrier. Exosomes were isolated from CSF of 23 -pre-symptomatic and 15 symptomatic mutation carriers, and 11 healthy non-mutation carriers. Expression of miRNAs was measured using qPCR arrays. MiRNAs differentially expressed in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers were evaluated in 17 patients with sporadic FTD, 13 patients with sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and 10 healthy controls (HCs). Results: In the GENFI cohort, miR-204-5p and miR-632 were significantly decreased in symptomatic compared to pre-symptomatic mutation carriers. Decrease of miR-204-5p and miR-632 revealed receiver operator characteristics with an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.79-0.98] and 0.81 [90% CI: 0.68-0.93], and when combined an area of 0.93 [90% CI: 0.87-0.99]. In sporadic FTD, only miR-632 was significantly decreased compared to sporadic AD and HCs. Decrease of miR-632 revealed an area of 0.89 [90% CI: 0.80-0.98]. Conclusions: Exosomal miR-204-5p and miR-632 have potential as diagnostic biomarkers for genetic FTD and miR-632 also for sporadic FTD.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
Shallow ice cores were obtained from widely distributed sites across the West Antarctic ice sheet, as part of the United States portion of the International Trans-Antarctic Scientific Expedition (US ITASE) program. The US ITASE cores have been dated by annual-layer counting, primarily through the identification of summer peaks in non-sea-salt sulfate (nssSO42–) concentration. Absolute dating accuracy of better than 2 years and relative dating accuracy better than 1 year is demonstrated by the identification of multiple volcanic marker horizons in each of the cores, Tambora, Indonesia (1815), being the most prominent. Independent validation is provided by the tracing of isochronal layers from site to site using high-frequency ice-penetrating radar observations, and by the timing of mid-winter warming events in stable-isotope ratios, which demonstrate significantly better than 1 year accuracy in the last 20 years. Dating precision to ±1 month is demonstrated by the occurrence of summer nitrate peaks and stable-isotope ratios in phase with nssSO42–, and winter-time sea-salt peaks out of phase, with phase variation of <1 month. Dating precision and accuracy are uniform with depth, for at least the last 100 years.
An 8-cm optical telescope is constructed for use at the south pole. It is designed to make photoelectric observations of selected stars continuously through an austral winter. The automated operation is controlled by a computer. The aim is to study the variability of the star γ2 Velorum as well as the condition of the polar sky and the performance of the instrument.
Ion angular current and energy distributions are important parameters for ion thrusters, which are typically measured at a few tens of centimetres to a few metres distance from the thruster exit. However, fully kinetic particle-in-cell (PIC) simulations are not able to simulate such domain sizes due to high computational costs. Therefore, a parallelisation strategy of the code is presented to reduce computational time. The calculated ion beam angular distributions in the plume region are quite sensitive to boundary conditions of the potential, possible additional source contributions (e.g. from secondary electron emission at vessel walls) and charge exchange collisions. Within this work a model for secondary electrons emitted from the vessel wall is included. In order to account for limits of the model due to its limited domain size, a correction of the simulated angular ion energy distribution by the potential boundary is presented to represent the conditions at the location of the experimental measurement in
distance. In addition, a post-processing procedure is suggested to include charge exchange collisions in the plume region not covered by the original PIC simulation domain for the simulation of ion angular distributions measured at
Accurate models of X-ray absorption and re-emission in partly stripped ions are necessary to calculate the structure of stars, the performance of hohlraums for inertial confinement fusion and many other systems in high-energy-density plasma physics. Despite theoretical progress, a persistent discrepancy exists with recent experiments at the Sandia Z facility studying iron in conditions characteristic of the solar radiative–convective transition region. The increased iron opacity measured at Z could help resolve a longstanding issue with the standard solar model, but requires a radical departure for opacity theory. To replicate the Z measurements, an opacity experiment has been designed for the National Facility (NIF). The design uses established techniques scaled to NIF. A laser-heated hohlraum will produce X-ray-heated uniform iron plasmas in local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) at temperatures
eV and electron densities
. The iron will be probed using continuum X-rays emitted in a
diameter source from a 2 mm diameter polystyrene (CH) capsule implosion. In this design,
of the NIF beams deliver 500 kJ to the
mm diameter hohlraum, and the remaining
directly drive the CH capsule with 200 kJ. Calculations indicate this capsule backlighter should outshine the iron sample, delivering a point-projection transmission opacity measurement to a time-integrated X-ray spectrometer viewing down the hohlraum axis. Preliminary experiments to develop the backlighter and hohlraum are underway, informing simulated measurements to guide the final design.
The particle-in-cell (PIC) method was used to simulate heat flux mitigation experiments with partially ionised argon. The experiments demonstrate the possibility of reducing heat flux towards a target using magnetic fields. Modelling using the PIC method is able to reproduce the heat flux mitigation qualitatively. This is driven by modified electron transport. Electrons are magnetised and react directly to the external magnetic field. In addition, an increase of radial turbulent transport is also needed to explain the experimental observations in the model. Close to the target an increase of electron density is created. Due to quasi-neutrality, ions follow the electrons. Charge exchange collisions couple the dynamics of the neutrals to the ions and reduce the flow velocity of neutrals by radial momentum transport and subsequent losses. By this, the dominant heat-transport channel by neutrals gets reduced and a reduction of the heat deposition, similar to the experiment, is observed. Using the simulation a diagnostic module for optical emission is developed and its results are compared with spectroscopic measurements and photos from the experiment. The results of this study are in good agreement with the experiment. Experimental observations such as a shrank bright emission region close to the nozzle exit, an additional emission in front of the target and an overall change in colour to red are reproduced by the simulation.
AMS radiocarbon results from the World Ocean Circulation Experiment in the Pacific Ocean show dramatic changes in the inventory and distribution of bomb-produced 14C since the time of the GEOSECS survey (8/73–6/74). Near-surface Δ14C values for the eastern portion of both the northern and southern subtropical gyres decreased by 25–50‰, with the change being greater in the north. Equatorial near-surface values have increased by ca. 25‰. Changes in the 250–750-m depth range are dramatically different between the northern and southern basins. The intermediate and mode waters of the southern basin have increased by as much as 75‰ since GEOSECS. Waters of similar density in the northern hemisphere are not exposed to the Southern Ocean circulation regime and are significantly less ventilated, showing maximum changes of ca. 50‰.
The World Ocean Circulation Experiment, carried out between 1990 and 1997, provided the most comprehensive oceanic survey of radiocarbon to date. Approximately 10,000 samples were collected in the Pacific Ocean by U.S. investigators for both conventional large volume p counting and small volume accelerator mass spectrometry analysis techniques. Results from six cruises are presented. The data quality is as good or better than previous large-scale surveys. The 14C distribution for the entire WOCE Pacific data set is graphically described using mean vertical profiles and sections, and property-property plots.
This paper briefly describes the principle of operation and science goals of the AMANDA high energy neutrino telescope located at the South Pole, Antarctica. Results from an earlier phase of the telescope, called AMANDA-BIO, demonstrate both reliable operation and the broad astrophysical reach of this device, which includes searches for a variety of sources of ultrahigh energy neutrinos: generic point sources, Gamma-Ray Bursts and diffuse sources. The predicted sensitivity and angular resolution of the telescope were confirmed by studies of atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. We also report on the status of the analysis from AMANDA-II, a larger version with far greater capabilities. At this stage of analysis, details of the ice properties and other systematic uncertainties of the AMANDA-II telescope are under study, but we have made progress toward critical science objectives. In particular, we present the first preliminary flux limits from AMANDA-II on the search for continuous emission from astrophysical point sources, and report on the search for correlated neutrino emission from Gamma Ray Bursts detected by BATSE before decommissioning in May 2000. During the next two years, we expect to exploit the full potential of AMANDA-II with the installation of a new data acquisition system that records full waveforms from the in-ice optical sensors.
The space mission COROT can be considered as a DARWIN/TPF precursor, since it will contribute to the pre-DARWIN/TPF effort with its dedicated exoplanet program. COROT will survey more than 50 thousands stars, each one during five months, in order to detect transits of planets. Despite of the modest size of the telescope, the photon-noise limited performances may lead to the detection of several tens of “hot jupiters” and, more important, of a few planets of the Earth-Uranus class, i.e. with a size of typically 1.5 to 4 Earth radius. In the basic mode of operation (characterization of a planet by at least 3 detected transits), only planets with a short orbital period, and thus rather “hot” ones (T = 600K), should be discovered. However, one of the COROT's features is its capability to provide a wavelength dependent information, thanks to a prism in the optical path.
We positionally match sources observed by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), and the Faint Images of the Radio Sky at Twenty-cm (FIRST) survey. Practically all 2MASS sources are matched to an SDSS source within 2 arcsec; ~11% of them are optically resolved galaxies and the rest are dominated by stars. About 1/3 of FIRST sources are matched to an SDSS source within 2 arcsec; ~80% of these are galaxies and the rest are dominated by quasars. Based on these results, we project that by the completion of these surveys the matched samples will include about 107 stars and 106 galaxies observed by both SDSS and 2MASS, and about 250,000 galaxies and 50,000 quasars observed by both SDSS and FIRST. Here we present a preliminary analysis of the optical, infrared and radio properties for the extragalactic sources from the matched samples. In particular, we find that the fraction of quasars with stellar colors missed by the SDSS spectroscopic survey is probably not larger than ~10%, and that the optical colors of radio-loud quasars are ~0.05 mag. redder (with 4σ significance) than the colors of radio-quiet quasars.
The supernova SN1986j resembles the prototypical Type V supernova SN1961v in the relatively slow ∼1000km/s expansion velocity, the slow light curve, and also in the Hα dominated spectrum. The optical spectrum is similar to the spectra of some novae, and some OB stars with massive winds, being characteristic of a nebular plasma at about 1010cm−3 and 104K. What makes SN1986j exceptional is its tremendous radio luminosity, the brightest radio supernova observed to date. The radio emission indicates the presence of a massive circumstellar wind, with which the SN ejecta are now colliding. Since the cooling time of the optically emitting gas is about an hour, a heat source is required to power the light curve. Shocks moving back into the ejecta offer a natural heat source, and account quantitatively for the observed luminosity and spectral character of SN1986j. The large Hα/Hβ ratio is attributed to trapping of Ly α, which pumps the n = 2 level of hydrogen, causing a finite optical depth in Balmer lines, and converting Hβ to Pα and Hα. The ratio of the derived H(n = 2) density and column density yields a size for the Hα emitting region consistent with the thickness of a cooling shock, but less than 10−7 of the 1017cm VLBI size. An important discriminant between shock models and photoionization models of the spectrum is that shocks predict Lyman 2-photon emission. The mass of the optically emitting material in SN1986j is about 1M⊙, substantially less than the 2000 M⊙ argued in the case of SN1961v by Utrobin. However, there may be, and probably is, considerably more unobserved ejecta. This material should reveal itself as the remnant of SN1986j continues to evolve.
The ESRO satellite COS-B carries one single experiment aiming at the measurement of arrival direction and energy of celestial gamma rays with energies between 25 MeV and 10 GeV. The experiment is conventional in design and consists of a veto counter, a wire spark chamber, a telescope and an energy calorimeter.
The energy measurement is obtained by a CsI scintillation crystal of 4.7 radiation length thickness. The expected energy resolution at 100 MeV is 50% FWHM. The other detector elements are designed as to cause the least possible degradation of the energy measurement.
The possibilities for the detection of a small contribution of π -origin gamma rays in the presence of a power-law type background spectrum will be discussed.
The B fields in OB stars (BOB) survey is an ESO large programme collecting spectropolarimetric observations for a large number of early-type stars in order to study the occurrence rate, properties, and ultimately the origin of magnetic fields in massive stars. As of July 2014, a total of 98 objects were observed over 20 nights with FORS2 and HARPSpol. Our preliminary results indicate that the fraction of magnetic OB stars with an organised, detectable field is low. This conclusion, now independently reached by two different surveys, has profound implications for any theoretical model attempting to explain the field formation in these objects. We discuss in this contribution some important issues addressed by our observations (e.g., the lower bound of the field strength) and the discovery of some remarkable objects.
The Millimetre Astronomy Legacy Team 90 GHz (MALT90) survey aims to characterise the physical and chemical evolution of high-mass star-forming clumps. Exploiting the unique broad frequency range and on-the-fly mapping capabilities of the Australia Telescope National Facility Mopra 22 m single-dish telescope1, MALT90 has obtained 3′ × 3′ maps towards ~2 000 dense molecular clumps identified in the ATLASGAL 870 μm Galactic plane survey. The clumps were selected to host the early stages of high-mass star formation and to span the complete range in their evolutionary states (from prestellar, to protostellar, and on to
regions and photodissociation regions). Because MALT90 mapped 16 lines simultaneously with excellent spatial (38 arcsec) and spectral (0.11 km s−1) resolution, the data reveal a wealth of information about the clumps’ morphologies, chemistry, and kinematics. In this paper we outline the survey strategy, observing mode, data reduction procedure, and highlight some early science results. All MALT90 raw and processed data products are available to the community. With its unprecedented large sample of clumps, MALT90 is the largest survey of its type ever conducted and an excellent resource for identifying interesting candidates for high-resolution studies with ALMA.