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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.
An unexpected new source of tin was recently located at Hisarcık, in the foothills of the Mount Erciyes volcano in the Kayseri Plain, close to the Bronze Age town of Kültepe, ancient Kanesh and home to a colony of Assyrian traders. Volcanoes in Turkey have always been associated with obsidian sources but were not known to be a major source of heavy metals, much less tin. X-ray fluorescence analyses of the Hisarcık ores revealed the presence of minerals suitable for the production of complex copper alloys, and sufficient tin and arsenic content to produce tin-bronze. These findings revise our understanding of bronze production in Anatolia in the third millennium BC and demand a re-evaluation of Assyrian trade routes and the position of the Early Bronze Age societies of Anatolia within that network.
The Taiwan-America Occultation Survey (TAOS) aims to determine the number of small icy bodies in the outer reach of the Solar System by means of stellar occultation. An array of 4 robotic small (D=0.5 m), wide-field (f/1.9) telescopes have been installed at Lulin Observatory in Taiwan to simultaneously monitor some thousand of stars for such rare occultation events. Because a typical occultation event by a TNO a few km across will last for only a fraction of a second, fast photometry is necessary. A special CCD readout scheme has been devised to allow for stellar photometry taken a few times per second. Effective analysis pipelines have been developed to process stellar light curves and to correlate any possible flux changes among all telescopes. A few billion photometric measurements have been collected since the routine survey began in early 2005. Our preliminary result of a very low detection rate suggests a deficit of small TNOs down to a few km size, consistent with the extrapolation of some recent studies of larger (30–100 km) TNOs.
Using thermally induced hydrosilylation, organic molecules were covalently bonded to H-terminated crystalline silicon (111) and hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) surfaces. The resulting chemical surface structure was analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and compared to that of silicon surfaces covered by a native oxide or terminated with hydrogen. For both kinds of substrates, the presence of oxygen on the surface is found to hinder the hydrosilylation reaction. Stable H-termination as a starting point for a successful hydrosilylation can be obtained on a-Si:H surfaces with much less technological effort than on crystalline silicon surfaces. Photoconductivity measurements of the different a-Si:H surfaces at low intensity of illumination (monomolecular recombination regime) indicate that the hydrosilylated surface has less defects than the H-terminated surfaces or surfaces covered with native oxide. Spin-dependent photoconductivity measurements identify the dominant paramagnetic defect at the hydrosilylated a-Si:H surface to be the silicon dangling bond.
We present the preliminary results of a frequency analysis of 1457 fundamental mode RR Lyrae (RR0) stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) from MACHO Project photometry. We find the same classes of pulsational behavior as were found in our earlier survey of first overtone RR Lyrae (RR1) stars. Variables whose prewhitened power spectra contain one or two peaks close to the main frequency component in the original power spectra are commonly known as Blazhko-type variables. The present analysis shows the overall frequency of Blazhko-type stars in the total RR0 population analysed to date to be ≈ 10%. This is lower than the often cited Galactic field/globular rate of 20-30% (Szeidl, 1988).
The incidence rate of Blazhko-type variability in the LMC appears to be about three times higher in RR0 stars than in RR1 stars. This puts important constraints on possible models of the Blazhko effect.
A review of the properties of Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the Magellanic Clouds is presented. In the behaviour of their light and colour curves, the RV Tauri stars appear to be a direct extension of the Type II Cepheids to longer periods. A single P – L – C relationship describes both the Type II Cepheids and RV Tauri stars in the LMC. The derived high intrinsic magnitudes for the RV Tauri variables supports the proposition that these objects are luminous stars evolving off the AGB. Preliminary analysis of the long time-series MACHO photometry indicates one star (MACHO*05:37:45.0–69:54:16) has an obvious ‘period-quadrupled’ periodicity, which is supporting evidence for a period-doubling bifurcation transition to chaotic pulsations.
We present the first results of the analysis of 22 Blazhko stars. We find: 1) Blazhko RRab stars that are nearly pure amplitude modulators; 2) Blazhko RRab stars that have both amplitude and phase modulation; 3) A Blazhko RRab star that has an abrupt period change; 4) Proof of the Blazhko effect in RRc stars. Our data show the character of the amplitude and phase modulations of the light curves over the Blazhko cycles far better than has been previously possible.
We present the first massive frequency analysis of the 1200 first overtone RR Lyrae stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud observed in the first 4.3 yr of the MACHO project. Besides the many new double-mode variables, we also discovered stars with closely spaced frequencies. These variables are most probably nonradial pulsators.
HST ultra-violet and ground-based optical spectroscopy are presented for DI 1388, an early-type star in the Magellanic Bridge. These data have been supplemented with H I radio mapping of its environment. The spectroscopy shows interstellar components at LSR velocities of 0, 90 and 200 km s−1 – corresponding to the local ISM, a high velocity cloud and the Magellanic Bridge ISM, respectively. The last is the first absorption line detection of this material and shows the presence of both low (e.g., N I) and high (Si IV) ionization material. Further optical and HST UV observations of DI 1338 and another Bridge star, DGIK 975, are scheduled to investigate the chemical homogeneity and star formation history of the Bridge.
We have analyzed a sample of 1150 type ab, and 550 type c RR Lyrae stars found in 24 of 94 bulge fields of the MACHO database. These fields cover a range in Galactocentric distances from 0.3 to 1.6 kpc. In combination with the data on the outer bulge fields of Alard (1997) and Wesselink (1987), here we present the surface density distribution of bulge RR Lyrae between 0.3 and 3 kpc.
The MACHO microlensing experiment's time-sampled photometry database contains blue and red lightcurves for nearly 9 million stars in the central bar region of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We have identified known LMC Planetary Nebulae (PN) in the database and find one, Jacoby 5, to be variable. We additionally present data on the “parent populations” of LMC PN, and discuss the star formation history of the LMC bar.
Ultrathin epitaxial films grown in UHV – Fe(110) on Au(111) and Ag(111), Co(0001) on Au(111) – , sputtered Fe films between Ag and sputtered Fe/Au multilayers were studied by SQUID magnetometry and Mössbauer spectroscopy (CEMS). It could be shown that the magnetic anisotropy relative to the film normal, the, ground state magnetic moment per Fe atom and thermal spin excitations are affected by the structure of the films. In particular, a more 3-dimensional growth mode in the early state of film formation which is observed except in a certain temperature range around 300 K reduces the apparent magnetic interface anisotropy and the ferromagnetic ground state moment, and it enhances the thermal spin fluctuations and the tendency for superparamagnetic relaxation in the thinnest films.
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