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GravityCam is a new concept of ground-based imaging instrument capable of delivering significantly sharper images from the ground than is normally possible without adaptive optics. Advances in optical and near-infrared imaging technologies allow images to be acquired at high speed without significant noise penalty. Aligning these images before they are combined can yield a 2.5–3-fold improvement in image resolution. By using arrays of such detectors, survey fields may be as wide as the telescope optics allows. Consequently, GravityCam enables both wide-field high-resolution imaging and high-speed photometry. We describe the instrument and detail its application to provide demographics of planets and satellites down to Lunar mass (or even below) across the Milky Way. GravityCam is also suited to improve the quality of weak shear studies of dark matter distribution in distant clusters of galaxies and multiwavelength follow-ups of background sources that are strongly lensed by galaxy clusters. The photometric data arising from an extensive microlensing survey will also be useful for asteroseismology studies, while GravityCam can be used to monitor fast multiwavelength flaring in accreting compact objects and promises to generate a unique data set on the population of the Kuiper belt and possibly the Oort cloud.
Species that belong to the Aphidius eadyi group have been used as biocontrol agents against Acyrthosiphon pisum worldwide. However, despite their extensive use, there are still gaps in our knowledge about their taxonomy and distribution. In this study, we employed an integrative taxonomic approach by combining genetic analyses (mtDNA COI barcoding) with standard morphological analyses and geometric morphometrics of forewing shape. We identified three species within the A. eadyi species group, viz., A. smithi, A. eadyi and A. banksae. Genetic separation of all three species was confirmed, with mean genetic distances between species ranging from 5 to 7.4%. The following morphological characters were determined as the most important for separating species of the A. eadyi group: number and shape of costulae on the anterolateral part of the petiole, shape of the central areola on the propodeum, and shape and venation of the forewings. The differences in wing shape of all three species were statistically significant, but with some overlapping. We identified A. banksae as a widely distributed pea aphid parasitoid, whose known range covers most of the western Palaearctic (from the UK to Israel). Aphidius banksae is diagnosed and redescribed.
Catalytic behavior of colloidal dispersions of different nanocarbon additives in mineral and synthetic oil has been studied. Oxidation performance of mineral oil and synthetic oil containing detonation nanodiamonds (NDs/DNDs), detonation soot and commercial analogs have been compared with fullerenes and a conventional chemical antioxidant. Degradation characteristics of the oils were determined by total acid number (TAN) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Both fullerenes and DNDs showed antioxidant properties in mineral oil, with DND performance depending on the method of deagglomeration. Antioxidant performance of DNDs and fullerenes in polyalphaolefin (PAO) oil is apparently less effective than in mineral oil.
CCD spectra for the unusual Wolf-Rayet star EZ CMa (WR6) are presented. The analysis of the profile changes of HeII lines shows a correlation between the gravity center of the line and the skewness (Robert et al. 1992). The fourth moment (kurtosis) changes with phase and looks epoch independent. These observable effects could be treated as manifestations of wind variability rather than consequence of orbital motion.
Moderately deep ground based UBV images are used to investigate the OB associations and star clusters in IC 1613. Fifty eight OB associations with sizes between 30 and 130 pc are outlined. The iteration between associations and superbubbles in IC 1613 was analyzed. The lack of star clusters was confirmed.
Doppler-effect laser equipment was successfully employed in Antarctica in 1969-70 to measure the rate of ice-sheet motion. The method is based on measuring differential beat frequency generated by the interaction of the direct pulse and its echo. A He-Ne laser with the wavelength of 6 328 Â was used in the 15th Soviet Antarctic Expedition. The paper gives detailed results of the measurements along with a description of the equipment used and of the observational procedures. A new modified version of the equipment was made ready for 1971-72 Antarctic season, and was used in the 18th Soviet Antarctic Expedition in the vicinity of Mirny station. New results are also discussed. Analysis of all available data makes it possible to believe that the movement of the ice sheet is irregular with occasional stops. The progressive motion of the ice sheet is accompanied by strain oscillations.
Short pulse laser irradiation has the ability to bring a material into a state of strong electronic, thermal, phase, and mechanical nonequilibrium and trigger a sequence of structural transformations leading to the generation of complex multiscale surface morphologies, unusual metastable phases, and microstructures that cannot be produced by any other means. In this article, we provide an overview of recent advancements and existing challenges in the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of short pulse laser interaction with materials, including the material response to strong electronic excitation, ultrafast redistribution and partitioning of the deposited laser energy, the peculiarities of phase transformations occurring under conditions of strong superheating/undercooling, as well as laser-induced generation of crystal defects and modification of surface microstructure.
We carried out a pivot experiment to select distant luminous late-type stars on the basis on their 2MASS and GLIMPSE photometry. Low-resolution infrared spectra enabled us to measure the equivalent widths (EWs) of their CO band-heads at 2.293 μm, and to confirm an extraordinarily high detection rate of red supergiants (RSGs), i.e. 61% (Messineo et al. (2016)).
The Pirot sheep is a small Zackel that has been developed in the region of Pirot and the neighbouring municipalities in Serbia. Pirot sheep population has been reduced to only 60 animals in the Republic of Serbia. An overview of qualitative phenotypical and morphometrical characteristics of Pirot sheep from the Stara Planina is presented in this paper. The sheep included in this study belong to the last flock of the breed. The evaluation aims to obtain the phenotypical description of this indigenous breed as a phase of preservation strategy. Therefore, a total of 51 ewes and two rams were measured to obtain the detailed data concerning conformation. The phenotypical characteristics of animals included were also described. Based on the results, the Pirot sheep is a small breed with compact, slightly rectangular body frame (body length 115.40 percent of height at withers). The investigated sheep population was homogeneous, and morphological variations were limited to the data obtained in our research. The differences detected among different age groups were significant and reflected late maturing and slow growth of individuals. The comparison of the data determined by the evaluation of the modern population of Pirot sheep with the description from the older literature did not reveal that many significant changes of the morphological characteristics have occurred during the last 30 years. The small effective population and increasing inbreeding can threaten the efforts to preserve this sheep. The cultural heritage of the local community is also in danger due to the fact that the cornerstones of rural tradition in the area have been production of the three nationally important agricultural brands in Serbia – Pirot kilim (Pirot rug), Pirot/Stara Planina lamb and Pirot/Stara Planina Kachkaval cheese, all of which are depending on the Pirot sheep breeding. Additionally, some problems affecting the preservation of animal genetic resources in Serbia are reviewed with the focus on the Stara Planina. The research indicated that ex situ conservation should also be considered in the case of the Pirot sheep.
We briefly describe our on-going investigation of the near-IR luminosity-metallicity relationship for dwarf irregular galaxies in nearby groups of galaxies. The motivations of the project and the observational databases are introduced, and a preliminary result is presented. The 12 + log(O/H) vs. H plane must be populated with more low-luminosity galaxies before a definite conclusion can be drawn.
Deep UBV and JHK photometry of the stars in IC 1613 was used to investigate the stellar content in the H II regions of the northeast sector of the galaxy. The ages of nine of the associations outlined by Hodge (1978) were determined. A10 and A14 were found to be the youngest associations with ages of approximately 5 Myr, while A12, A18 and A19 were the oldest ones found, having a common age of approx. 20 Myr. Analysis of theoretical HR diagrams shows the presence of young massive stars in the associations, which have been born almost coeval. We have also found evidence of a difference between the slopes of the IMFs and differential LFs, between the group of associations embedded in gas and the group containing A12, A18 and A19, which are not affected by nebulosity.
An analysis of the behaviour of the He II 5411 line wings is presented. The spectral classification of the companion is discussed on the basis of a simple geometric model of the colliding stellar winds zone.
La centralisation au Bureau international de l’Heure des résultats d’observations de l’Opération internationale de 1933 a été très lente, puisque les dernières données attendues ont été reçues vers la fin de 1937.
Le nombre des stations ayant coopéré à l’Opération internationale et ayant transmis leurs observations à l’organisme centralisateur s’élève à soixante et onze. Ainsi qu’il a été expliqué à notre Commission mixte, lors du Congrès de l’Union géodésique et géophysique internationale tenu à Édimbourg en 1936, ces stations ont été réparties en trois groupes:
Le Ier comprenant vingt Observatoires, disposant chacun de plusieurs horloges de première classe (soit à poids sous pression et à température constantes, soit à quartz piézoélectrique);
Geological disposal (GD) of radioactive waste is close to becoming a reality for Finland, Sweden and France. High-technology development and advanced knowledge has made it possible to defend the feasibility and the safety of such facilities, making the European Union a leader in the field. Other European countries are closely behind, developing high competence through advanced research programmes, research infrastructures and public engagement.
At the other extreme, there are countries whose GD programmes are at an early stage and no systematic research programmes exist. These include several new Member States but not the Czech Republic and Hungary, both of which have already initiated a siting process.
There are several common reasons for this delay in schedule: small and relatively younger nuclear energy programmes, return of the spent fuel (especially from research reactors) to the countries of origin, open fuel cycle concept (requiring at least 50 years of wet and dry storage). In this context, there has been little pressure on setting up an early GD programme. Currently their disposal concepts are only generic and in most of these countries need updating, taking into account the current socio-economic context.
However, some of these new Member States still aim to have a GD in operation within several decades, e.g. 2055 in Romania and 2067 in Slovenia. Strategic planning based on the experience of more advanced programmes shows the GD process should start immediately in order to be able to achieve these deadlines.
In this context, the implementation of the EC Directive 70/2011 gives the opportunity to progress the advancement of the GD process in these countries.
We conducted infrared spectroscopic observations of bright stars in the direction of the molecular clouds W33 and GMC G23.3 − 0.3. We compared stellar spectro-photometric distances with parallactic distances to these regions, and we were able to assess the association of the detected massive stars with these molecular complexes. The spatial and temporal distributions of the detected stars enabled us to locate sources of ionizing radiation and to gather precise information on the star formation history of these clouds. The studied clouds present different distributions of massive stars.
Gaia will see little of the Galactic mid-plane and nuclear bulge due to high extinction at optical wavelengths. To study the structure and kinematics of the inner Galaxy we must look to longer wavelengths. The Vista Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV, Minniti et al. 2010) survey currently provides just over 4 years of observations covering approximately 560 square degrees of the Galactic bulge and plane. Typically each source is observed 50–150 times in the Ks band over this period. Using these data we provide relative proper motions for approximately 200 million unique sources down to Ks∼16 with uncertainties approaching 1 mas yr−1. In addition, we fit a solution of the parallactic motion of all sources with significant proper motion and discover a number of new nearby brown dwarfs. These results will allow us to identify faint common proper motion companions to stars with Gaia parallaxes, increasing the number of brown dwarf benchmark objects. Our absolute astrometric calibration precision is currently ∼ 2 mas yr−1, based on PPMXL. The Gaia absolute astrometric reference grid will allow us to precisely anchor our results and measure the streaming motions of stars in the bulge. Finally, we anticipate that the catalogue could provide kinematic distances to the numerous optically invisible high amplitude variable stars that VVV is discovering.
This report summarizes epidemiological data on nephropathia epidemica (NE) in the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia. NE cases identified in the period 1997–2013 were investigated in parallel with the hantavirus antigen prevalence in small rodents in the study area. A total of 13 930 NE cases were documented in all but one district of Tatarstan, with most cases located in the central and southeastern districts. The NE annual incidence rate exhibited a cyclical pattern, with the highest numbers of cases being registered once in every 3–5 years. The numbers of NE cases rose gradually from July to November, with the highest morbidity in adult males. The highest annual disease incidence rate, 64·4 cases/100 000 population, was observed in 1997, with a total of 2431 NE cases registered. NE cases were mostly associated with visiting forests and agricultural activities. The analysis revealed that the bank vole Myodes glareolus not only comprises the majority of the small rodent communities in the region, but also consistently displays the highest hantavirus prevalence compared to other small rodent species.
Today, three-spined stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus are the most abundant fish in the White Sea and are close to their historical maximum. Based on observations from 2011–2013, this study reports quantitative and qualitative characteristics of juvenile stickleback diet during periods of active feeding in coastal Zostera seagrass beds. The following planktonic taxa dominated stomach contents: copepods Temora longicornis and Microsetella norvegica, ciliophora Helicostomella subulata. Benthic organisms such as Oligochaetae and Orthocladiinae also played an important role, whereas the literature suggests they were once rare in marine stickleback diets. Consumption patterns depended on fish size, with the most pronounced diet shift taking place as juveniles reached a length of 15 mm, in late August. In larger juveniles the highest correlation between the abundance of food organisms in stomachs and in the sea was observed for Orthocladiinae, suggesting that they are the preferred food. Overall, changes in diet followed changes in the abundance of available food organisms, but food selectivity analysis of planktonic organisms showed that M. norvegica were actively selected by juveniles.
A new method to determine the peak intensity of focused relativistic laser pulses is experimentally justified. It is based on the measurement of spectra of electrons, accelerated in the beam waist. The detected electrons were emitted from the plasma, generated by nonlinear ionization of low-density gases (helium, argon, and krypton) in the focal area of a laser beam with the peak intensity >1020 W/cm2. The measurements revealed generation of particles with the maximum energy of a few MeV, observed at a small angle relative to the beam axis. The results are supported by numerical particle-in-cell simulations of a laser–low-density plasma interaction. The peak intensity in the focal region derived from experimental data reaches the value of 2.5 × 1020 W/cm2.
AlGaN-based SQW heterostructures grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy on c-Al2O3 substrates have been studied with high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HR TEM), photoluminescence spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction. The high-temperature (780°C) synthesis of the AlN buffer layer nucleated on c-Al2O3 by a migration enhanced epitaxy and including several ultra-thin GaN interlayers grown under moderate N-rich conditions was shown to be the optimum approach for lowering the threading dislocations density down to 108-109 cm-2. HR TEM study has confirmed the fine structure of single quantum wells (SQW) formed by a sub-monolayer digital alloying technique and revealed different kinds of compositional inhomogeneities in the AlxGa1-xN barrier layers of the heterostructures, including the formation of Al-rich barriers induced by the temperature-modulated epitaxy and the spontaneous compositional disordering along the growth axis for x=0.6-0.7. The influence of these phenomena on the parameters of the mid-UV stimulated emission observed in the SQW structures has been studied as well.