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We investigate the diversity in the sizes and average surface densities of the neutral atomic hydrogen (H i) gas discs in $\sim$280 nearby galaxies detected by the Widefield ASKAP L-band Legacy All-sky Blind Survey (WALLABY). We combine the uniformly observed, interferometric H i data from pilot observations of the Hydra cluster and NGC 4636 group fields with photometry measured from ultraviolet, optical, and near-infrared imaging surveys to investigate the interplay between stellar structure, star formation, and H i structural parameters. We quantify the H i structure by the size of the H i relative to the optical disc and the average H i surface density measured using effective and isodensity radii. For galaxies resolved by $>$$1.3$ beams, we find that galaxies with higher stellar masses and stellar surface densities tend to have less extended H i discs and lower H i surface densities: the isodensity H i structural parameters show a weak negative dependence on stellar mass and stellar mass surface density. These trends strengthen when we limit our sample to galaxies resolved by $>$2 beams. We find that galaxies with higher H i surface densities and more extended H i discs tend to be more star forming: the isodensity H i structural parameters have stronger correlations with star formation. Normalising the H i disc size by the optical effective radius (instead of the isophotal radius) produces positive correlations with stellar masses and stellar surface densities and removes the correlations with star formation. This is due to the effective and isodensity H i radii increasing with mass at similar rates while, in the optical, the effective radius increases slower than the isophotal radius. Our results are in qualitative agreement with previous studies and demonstrate that with WALLABY we can begin to bridge the gap between small galaxy samples with high spatial resolution H i data and large, statistical studies using spatially unresolved, single-dish data.
We have observed the G23 field of the Galaxy AndMass Assembly (GAMA) survey using the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder (ASKAP) in its commissioning phase to validate the performance of the telescope and to characterise the detected galaxy populations. This observation covers ~48 deg2 with synthesised beam of 32.7 arcsec by 17.8 arcsec at 936MHz, and ~39 deg2 with synthesised beam of 15.8 arcsec by 12.0 arcsec at 1320MHz. At both frequencies, the root-mean-square (r.m.s.) noise is ~0.1 mJy/beam. We combine these radio observations with the GAMA galaxy data, which includes spectroscopy of galaxies that are i-band selected with a magnitude limit of 19.2. Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) infrared (IR) photometry is used to determine which galaxies host an active galactic nucleus (AGN). In properties including source counts, mass distributions, and IR versus radio luminosity relation, the ASKAP-detected radio sources behave as expected. Radio galaxies have higher stellar mass and luminosity in IR, optical, and UV than other galaxies. We apply optical and IR AGN diagnostics and find that they disagree for ~30% of the galaxies in our sample. We suggest possible causes for the disagreement. Some cases can be explained by optical extinction of the AGN, but for more than half of the cases we do not find a clear explanation. Radio sources aremore likely (~6%) to have an AGN than radio quiet galaxies (~1%), but the majority of AGN are not detected in radio at this sensitivity.
Interstellar dust is still a dominant uncertainty in Astronomy, limiting precision in e.g., cosmological distance estimates and models of how light is re-processed within a galaxy. When a foreground galaxy serendipitously overlaps a more distant one, the latter backlights the dusty structures in the nearer foreground galaxy.
Such an overlapping or occulting galaxy pair can be used to measure the distribution of dust in the closest galaxy with great accuracy. The STARSMOG program uses Hubble to map the distribution of dust in foreground galaxies in fine (<100 pc) detail. Integral Field Unit (IFU) observations will map the effective extinction curve, disentangling the role of fine-scale geometry and grain composition on the path of light through a galaxy.
The overlapping galaxy technique promises to deliver a clear understanding of the dust in galaxies: geometry, a probability function of dimming as a function of galaxy mass and radius, and its dependence on wavelength.
Models of galaxy formation in a hierarchical universe predict substantial scatter in the halo-to-halo stellar properties, owing to stochasticity in galaxies’ merger histories. Currently, only few detailed observations of galaxy’s halos are available, mainly for the Milky Way and M31. The Galaxy Halos, Outer disks, Substructure, Thick disks and Star clusters (GHOSTS) HST survey is the largest study to date of the resolved stellar populations in the outskirts of disk galaxies and its observations offer a direct test of model predictions. Here we present the results we obtain for six highly inclined nearby Milky Way-mass spiral galaxies. We find a great diversity in the properties of their stellar halos.
Interstellar dust is still the dominant uncertainty in Astronomy, limiting precision in e.g., cosmological distance estimates and models of how light is re-processed within a galaxy. When a foreground galaxy serendipitously overlaps a more distant one, the latter backlights the dusty structures in the nearer foreground galaxy. Such an overlapping or occulting galaxy pair can be used to measure the distribution of dust in the closest galaxy with great accuracy. The STARSMOG program uses HST observation of occulting galaxy pairs to accurately map the distribution of dust in foreground galaxies in fine (<100 pc) detail. Furthermore, Integral Field Unit observations of such pairs will map the effective extinction curve in these occulting galaxies, disentangling the role of fine-scale geometry and grain composition on the path of light through a galaxy.
The overlapping galaxy technique promises to deliver a clear understanding of the dust in galaxies: the dust geometry, a probability function of the amount of dimming as a function of galaxy type, its dependence on wavelength, and evolution of all these properties with cosmic time using distant, high-redshift pairs.
The MeerKAT (64 x 13.5m dish radio interferometer) is South Africa's precursor instrument for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), exploring dish design, instrumentation, and the characteristics of a Karoo desert site and is projected to be on sky in 2016. One of two top-priority, Key Projects is a single deep field, integrating for 5000 hours total with the aim to detect neutral atomic hydrogen through its 21 cm line emission out to redshift unity and beyond. This first truly deep HI survey will help constrain fueling models for galaxy assembly and evolution. It will measure the evolution of the cosmic neutral gas density and its distribution over galaxies over cosmic time, explore evolution of the gas in galaxies, measure the Tully-Fisher relation, measure OH maser counts, and address many more topics. Here we present the observing strategy and envisaged science case for this unique deep field, which encompasses the Chandra Deep Field-South (and the footprints of GOODS, GEMS and several other surveys) to produce a singular legacy multi-wavelength data-set.
Edge-on spiral galaxies offer a unique perspective on the vertical structure of spiral disks, both stars and the iconic dark dustlanes. The thickness of these dustlanes can now be resolved for the first time with Herschel in far-infrared and sub-mm emission. We present NHEMESES, an ongoing project that targets 12 edge-on spiral galaxies with the PACS and SPIRE instruments on Herschel. These vertically resolved observations of edge-on spirals will impact on several current topics.
First and foremost, these Herschel observations will settle whether or not there is a phase change in the vertical structure of the ISM with disk mass. Previously, a dramatic change in dustlane morphology was observed as in massive disks the dust collapses into a thin lane. If this is the case, the vertical balance between turbulence and gravity dictates the ISM structure and consequently star-formation and related phenomena (spiral arms, bars etc.). We specifically target lower mass nearby edge-ons to complement existing Herschel observations of high-mass edge-on spirals (the HEROES project).
Secondly, the combined data-set, together with existing Spitzer observations, will drive a new generation of spiral disk Spectral Energy Distribution models. These model how dust reprocesses starlight to thermal emission but the dust geometry remains the critical unknown.
And thirdly, the observations will provide an accurate and unbiased census of the cold dusty structures occasionally seen extending out of the plane of the disk, when backlit by the stellar disk. To illustrate the NHEMESES project, we present early results on NGC 4244 and NGC 891, two well studies examples of a low and high-mass edge-on spiral.
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