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Following the previous article, here we describe the first field demonstration of the ELVIS system, performed at Newport Beach, CA. We examined ocean water to detect microorganisms using the combined holographic and light-field fluorescence microscope and successfully detected both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. The shared field of view provided simultaneous bright-field (amplitude), phase, and fluorescence information from both chlorophyll autofluorescence and acridine orange staining. The entire process was performed in a nearly autonomous manner using a specifically designed sample processing unit (SPU) and custom acquisition software. We also discuss improvements to the system made after the field test that will make it more broadly useful to other types of fluorophores and samples.
This is the first of two articles on the Extant Life Volumetric Imaging System (ELVIS) describing a combined digital holographic microscope (DHM) and a fluorescence light-field microscope (FLFM). The instrument is modular and robust enough for field use. Each mode uses its own illumination source and camera, but both microscopes share a common objective lens and sample viewing chamber. This allows correlative volumetric imaging in amplitude, quantitative phase, and fluorescence modes. A detailed schematic and parts list is presented, as well as links to open-source software packages for data acquisition and analysis that permits interested researchers to duplicate the design. Instrument performance is quantified using test targets and beads. In the second article on ELVIS, to be published in the next issue of Microscopy Today, analysis of data from field tests and images of microorganisms will be presented.
We present first imaging results from the PALM-3000 adaptive optics system and PHARO camera on the Hale 5 m telescope. Observations using a vector vortex coronagraph have given us direct detections of the two-ring dusty debris system around the star HD 141569. Our observations reveal the inner clearing in the disk to unprecedentedly small angular separations, and are the most sensitive yet at the H and K bands. We are for the first time able to measure and compare the colors of the scattered light in the inner and outer dust rings, and find that the outer ring is significantly bluer than the inner ring.
Progress in a number of technical areas is enabling imaging and interferometric observations at both smaller angular separations from bright stars and at deeper relative contrast levels. Here we discuss recent progress in several ongoing projects at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. First, extreme adaptive optics wavefront correction has recently enabled the use of very short (i.e., blue) wavelengths to resolve close binaries. Second, phase-based coronagraphy has recently allowed observations of faint companions to within nearly one diffraction beam width of bright stars. Finally, rotating interferometers that can observe inside the diffraction beam of single aperture telescopes are being developed to detect close-in companions and bright exozodiacal dust. This paper presents a very brief summary of the techniques involved, along with some illustrative results.
A vortex coronagraph on our extreme adaptive optics “well-corrected subaperture” on the Hale telescope has recently allowed the imaging of the triple-planet HR8799 system with a 1.5 m subaperture. Moreover, a faint, low-mass companion to a second star was imaged only one diffraction beam width away from the primary. These results illustrate the potential of the vortex coronagraph, which can enable exoplanet imaging and characterization with smaller telescopes than previously thought.
The first infrared photometry of an L-type brown dwarf, DENIS J0255-4700, includes N-band and narrow-band 8.8-μm detections, with upper limits in narrow-band 10.3 and 11.7 μm. Model-independent blackbody fits of existing data yield Teff = 1250 – 1750 K, with models favoring the lower end of that range. Dusty atmospheric models by Allard, Burrows and Marley which match the near-infrared photometry are not completely consistent with our mid-infrared photometry.
The three massive clusters in the Galactic Center are not only the most massive young clusters in the Galaxy, but they harbor more Wolf-Rayet stars than any other starburst region in the Local Group. An understanding of their stellar content will be valuable for extending models to starburst regions in other galaxies. We present HST-NICMOS images, luminosity functions, and color-magnitude diagrams of two of these: the Quintuplet and Arches clusters. The images allow the detection of stars over 6 magnitudes fainter than ever before and reveal previously undetected multiple star systems. For the first time, we clearly identify the main sequence in the Quintuplet cluster, and we extend earlier detections of the main sequence in the Arches cluster to Minitial < 10 M⊙. We estimate that the Arches cluster has an initial mass function slope which is greater than the Salpeter value. Given their stellar content, the Galactic Center clusters provide both the best nearby examples of super star clusters and the best nearby locale in which to investigate WR phenomena in starburst galaxies and galactic nuclei. We discuss the content of the Galactic Center clusters, with a particular emphasis on how they compare to other massive clusters of the local group. We expect that many of the massive stars in the Galactic Center will soon evolve to become WR stars, and eventually become supernovae at a rate of ∼ 1 per 20 000 years for the next several Myr. We note that our preliminary N-body simulations suggest that such dense clusters are short-lived in the strong tidal field of the Galactic Center, consistent with the fact that no older dense clusters are seen in the central 50 pc. This implies a star formation rate of 5(10−3) M⊙ yr−1 in the Galactic Center.
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