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The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
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.
Breakthrough Listen is a 10-yr initiative to search for signatures of technologies created by extraterrestrial civilisations at radio and optical wavelengths. Here, we detail the digital data recording system deployed for Breakthrough Listen observations at the 64-m aperture CSIRO Parkes Telescope in New South Wales, Australia. The recording system currently implements two modes: a dual-polarisation, 1.125-GHz bandwidth mode for single-beam observations, and a 26-input, 308-MHz bandwidth mode for the 21-cm multibeam receiver. The system is also designed to support a 3-GHz single-beam mode for the forthcoming Parkes ultra-wideband feed. In this paper, we present details of the system architecture, provide an overview of hardware and software, and present initial performance results.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Our current knowledge of star formation and accretion luminosity at high redshift (z > 3–4), as well as the possible connections between them, relies mostly on observations in the rest-frame ultraviolet, which are strongly affected by dust obscuration. Due to the lack of sensitivity of past and current infrared instrumentation, so far it has not been possible to get a glimpse into the early phases of the dust-obscured Universe. Among the next generation of infrared observatories, SPICA, observing in the 12–350 µm range, will be the only facility that can enable us to trace the evolution of the obscured star-formation rate and black-hole accretion rate densities over cosmic time, from the peak of their activity back to the reionisation epoch (i.e., 3 < z ≲ 6–7), where its predecessors had severe limitations. Here, we discuss the potential of photometric surveys performed with the SPICA mid-infrared instrument, enabled by the very low level of impact of dust obscuration in a band centred at 34 µm. These unique unbiased photometric surveys that SPICA will perform will fully characterise the evolution of AGNs and star-forming galaxies after reionisation.
The Hubble Source Catalog (HSC) combines lists of sources detected on images obtained with the WFPC2, ACS and WFC3 instruments aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and now available in the Hubble Legacy Archive. The catalogue contains time-domain information for about two million of its sources detected using the same instrument and filter on at least five HST visits. The Hubble Catalog of Variables (HCV) aims to identify HSC sources showing significant brightness variations. A magnitude-dependent threshold in the median absolute deviation of photometric measurements (an outlier-resistant measure of light-curve scatter) is adopted as the variability detection statistic. It is supplemented with a cut in χred2 that removes sources with large photometric errors. A pre-processing procedure involving bad image identification, outlier rejection and computation of local magnitude zero-point corrections is applied to the HSC light-curves before computing the variability detection statistics. About 52 000 HSC sources have been identified as candidate variables, among which 7,800 show variability in more than one filter. Visual inspection suggests that ∼70% of the candidates detected in multiple filters are true variables, while the remaining ∼30% are sources with aperture photometry corrupted by blending, imaging artefacts or image processing anomalies. The candidate variables have AB magnitudes in the range 15–27m, with a median of 22m. Among them are the stars in our own and nearby galaxies, and active galactic nuclei.
TAOS II is a next-generation occultation survey with the goal of measuring the size distribution of the small end of the Kuiper Belt (objects with diameters 0.5–30 km). Such objects have magnitudes r > 30, and are thus undetectable by direct imaging. The project will operate three telescopes at San Pedro Mártir Observatory in Baja California, México. Each telescope will be equipped with a custom-built camera comprised of a focal-plane array of CMOS imagers. The cameras will be capable of reading out image data from 10,000 stars at a cadence of 20 Hz. The telescopes will monitor the same set of stars simultaneously to search for coincident occultation detections, thus minimising the false-positive rate. This talk described the project, and reported on the progress of the development of the survey infrastructure.
This poster presented results from a detailed analysis of observed and theoretical light-curves of classical Cepheid variables in the Galaxy and the Magellanic Clouds. The theoretical light-curves were based on non-linear convective hydrodynamical pulsation models; the observational data were taken from ongoing wide-field variability surveys. The variation which we found in theoretical and observed light-curve parameters as a function of period, wavelength and metallicity was used to constrain the input physics to the pulsation models, such as the mass–luminosity relations obeyed by Cepheid variables. We also accounted for the variation in the convective efficiency as entered into the stellar pulsation models and its impact on the theoretical amplitudes and Period-Luminosity relations for Cepheid variables.
KIC 4851217 is a short period eclipsing binary (P = 2.47 days) in the field of the Kepler K1 mission. As well as variability caused by the eclipses, low-amplitude pulsations are also present in the data. A frequency analysis of the residual light-curve revealed δ Sct pulsations in the frequency range from 15–21 d−1 with amplitudes up to 3.5 mmag. Strong linear coupling (fi = fp + kforb) to orbital frequency was found, indicating tidally locked modes. From an analysis of 5 selected groups of frequencies we identified a radial mode on the secondary component, 3 dipole modes (l = |m| = 1), one of them present on the secondary component, and a quadrupole mode (l = |m| = 2), also located on the secondary component.
As shown by recent gravitational wave detections, galaxies harbour an unknown population of black holes at high masses. In our Galaxy such dark objects can be found and studied solely via gravitational microlensing methods. This paper described our search for black-hole lenses both in archived OGLE data and among on-going microlensing events found by OGLE and Gaia. That combination of superb time-domain astrometry and photometry will enable us to derive masses and distances to these dark lenses uniquely, and to describe the demographics of the unseen component of the Milky Way.
We have identified a new population of luminous, optical, narrow-lined transients (FWHM ∼1000 km s−1) coincident with the nuclear region of Seyfert galaxies. According to extensive spectrophotometric follow-ups of the main event (PS1-10adi), we could exclude both normal active galactic nucleus activity and changing-look quasars as the origin. The integrated energy output and spectral evolution over a time-scale of several years point to two possible paths of origin: a tidal disruption of a star by a supermassive black hole, or an extremely energetic supernova occurring within the Seyfert galaxy’s narrow-line (or broad-line) region. The former model would require invoking a specific variant of a tidal disruption, while the latter would require an extremely efficient conversion of kinetic energy via shock interaction between the supernova ejecta and the dense ambient medium.
Our poster presented a new analysis of the transit-time variations displayed by the extrasolar planet Kepler-410Ab. We assumed that the observed changes in the transit times are caused by the gravitational influence of another body in the system. To determine the mass of that perturbing body, we considered the light-time effect and an analytical approximation of the perturbation model. The solutions resulting from both methods gave comparable results, with an orbital period of 970 days and a slightly eccentric orbit for the third body. We proposed two possible models of a perturbing body orbiting a common barycentre with Kepler-410A: a single star with mass of at least 0.906 M⊙, or a binary star with a total component mass of at least 2.15 M⊙.
Radio emission from astrophysical transients allows us to derive calorimetry of kinetic feedback and detailed imaging in ways that are not possible at other wavelengths, and as such it forms an important part of the multi-messenger follow-ups of these events. The field is burgeoning, with a renaissance of interest in accretion, stellar explosions and jetted supernovæ, alongside newer classes of phenomena such as fast radio bursts and tidal disruption events. The purpose of this workshop was to discuss the infrastructure and techniques for detecting, identifying and probing radio transients, with a particular focus on how best to exploit transient alerts from multi-messenger facilities. We examined the type of transient alerts those facilities will broadcast, and methods for following them up, such as rapid-response triggering and shadowing. In break-out groups, participants chose a science question related to a particular radio transient type or class and discussed whether the planned transient strategies and observing techniques on the Square Kilometre Array will be adequate to address the particular question. The classes they chose included fast radio bursts, supernovæ, cataclysmic variable and unknown transients. Any proposed adaptation or suggestion was relayed to a panel of experts for further discussion. The second part of the workshop concentrated on the application of long baseline interferometry for detecting and measuring radio transients.
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.
This poster presented results from the Large Magellanic Cloud Near-Infrared Synoptic Survey (LMCNISS) for classical and Type II Cepheid variables that were identified in the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE-III) catalogue. Multi-wavelength time-series data for classical Cepheid variables are used to study light-curve structures as a function of period and wavelength. We exploited a sample of ∼1400 classical and ∼80 Type II Cepheid variables to derive Period–Wesenheit relations that combine both optical and near-infrared data. The new Period–Luminosity and Wesenheit relations were used to estimate distances to several Local-Group galaxies (using classical Cepheids) and to Galactic globular clusters (using Type II Cepheids). By appealing to a statistical framework, we found that fundamental-mode classical Cepheid Period–Luminosity relations are non-linear around 10–18 days at optical and near-IR wavelengths. We also suggested that a non-linear relation provides a better constraint on the Cepheid Period–Luminosity relation in Type Ia Supernovæ host galaxies, though it has a negligible effect on the systematic uncertainties affecting the local measurement of the Hubble constant.
Detailed analyses of observations by the Kepler satellite may reveal unknown facts about objects that were previously regarded as eclipsing binaries. We present results of our analysis of such an object, KIC 3832716. We show that the system actually contains two eclipsing binaries (EB1 and EB2), with orbital periods of 1.14 and 2.17 days, orbiting around their common centre of mass with period of at least 1400 days and with an estimated mass ratio of 0.7 ± 0.3. Analyses of the (O–C) diagrams of both eclipsing pairs show three different types of variation: (i) long-term changes probably due to light-time effects, (ii) spikes caused by the superposition of the eclipses of both binaries, and (iii) semi-regular variations in EB1 with a period of 57 days, presumably caused by the presence of spots on its secondary component.
The blue continuum of the eclipsing polar UZ For is dominated by single- or double-peaked emission from He ii, He i and the Balmer lines. The red spectrum shows weak emission from the Na i doublet at λ 8183 and 8194 Å and strong emission from the Ca ii lines at λ 8498 and 8542 Å. Doppler tomography of the strongest emission features reveals the presence of emission from the irradiated face of the secondary star, the threading region, and the ballistic and magnetically confined accretion stream. We have obtained 28 new eclipse times of UZ For during 2011–2016 as part of our eclipse timing follow-up programme to test the two-planet model proposed to explain variations in the eclipse times of UZ For.
Quasi-stationary distributions (QSDs) arise from stochastic processes that exhibit transient equilibrium behaviour on the way to absorption. QSDs are often mathematically intractable and even drawing samples from them is not straightforward. In this paper the framework of sequential Monte Carlo samplers is utilised to simulate QSDs and several novel resampling techniques are proposed to accommodate models with reducible state spaces, with particular focus on preserving particle diversity on discrete spaces. Finally, an approach is considered to estimate eigenvalues associated with QSDs, such as the decay parameter.
The aim of our project is to search for ways to best extract information on pulsar profiles and the interstellar medium (ISM), using the wide frequency bands that are typical of radio telescopes today. Pulsar profiles typically show a strong dependence on frequency. This depends both on the intrinsic radio emission mechanism, and the interaction of the radio waves with the ISM that lies between the pulsars and our detectors on Earth, due mostly to the effects of dispersion and scattering. In this work, we make use of radio pulsar beam models from the existing literature, to generate simulated pulse profiles, observed across various bands (centre frequencies and bandwidths), for each beam model. For all the chosen geometric parameters of the pulsar beam, observed in any frequency band, the simulated profiles manifest a relative shift in phase in their observed components, as a result of the intrinsic profile evolution. This relative shift in phase could be interpreted as an additional component to the ISM induced dispersion measure (DM). This additional DM component due to profile evolution is frequency dependent. We discuss the systematics introduced to pulsar data due to this effect.
Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that can cause bacteraemia, meningitis, and complications during pregnancy. In July 2012, molecular subtyping identified indistinguishable L. monocytogenes isolates from six patients and two samples of different cut and repackaged cheeses. A multistate outbreak investigation was initiated. Initial analyses identified an association between eating soft cheese and outbreak-related illness (odds ratio 17·3, 95% confidence interval 2·0–825·7) but no common brand. Cheese inventory data from locations where patients bought cheese and an additional location where repackaged cheese yielded the outbreak strain were compared to identify cheeses for microbiological sampling. Intact packages of imported ricotta salata yielded the outbreak strain. Fourteen jurisdictions reported 22 cases from March–October 2012, including four deaths and a fetal loss. Six patients ultimately reported eating ricotta salata; another reported eating cheese likely cut with equipment also used for contaminated ricotta salata, and nine more reported eating other cheeses that might also have been cross-contaminated. An FDA import alert and US and international recalls followed. Epidemiology-directed microbiological testing of suspect cheeses helped identify the outbreak source. Cross-contamination of cheese highlights the importance of using validated disinfectant protocols and routine cleaning and sanitizing after cutting each block or wheel.