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New occurrences of flask-shaped and envelope-bearing microfossils, including the predominantly Cambrian taxon Granomarginata, are reported from new localities, as well as from earlier in time (Ediacaran) than previously known. The stratigraphic range of Granomarginata extends into the Cambrian System, where it had a cosmopolitan distribution. This newly reported Ediacaran record includes areas from Norway (Baltica), Newfoundland (Avalonia) and Namibia (adjacent to the Kalahari Craton), and puts the oldest global occurrence of Granomarginata in the Indreelva Member (< 563 Ma) of the Stáhpogieddi Formation on the Digermulen Peninsula, Arctic Norway. Although Granomarginata is rare within the assemblage, these new occurrences together with previously reported occurrences from India and Poland, suggest a potentially widespread palaeogeographic distribution of Granomarginata through the middle–late Ediacaran interval. A new flask-shaped microfossil Lagoenaforma collaris gen. et sp. nov. is also reported in horizons containing Granomarginata from the Stáhpogieddi Formation in Norway and the Dabis Formation in Namibia, and flask-shaped fossils are also found in the Gibbett Hill Formation in Newfoundland. The Granomarginata–Lagoenaforma association, in addition to a low-diversity organic-walled microfossil assemblage, occurs in the strata postdating the Shuram carbon isotope excursion, and may eventually be of use in terminal Ediacaran biostratigraphy. These older occurrences of Granomarginata add to a growing record of body fossil taxa spanning the Ediacaran–Cambrian boundary.
The Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamical Evolution (BAaDE) survey aims to explore the complex structure of the inner Galaxy and Galactic Bulge, by using the 43 GHz receivers at the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) and the 86 GHz receivers at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) to observe SiO maser lines in red giant stars. The goal is to construct a sample of stellar point-mass probes that can be used to test models of the gravitational potential, and the final sample is expected to provide at least 20,000 line-of-sight velocities and positions. A possible bias between the VLA and the ALMA SiO maser lines is explored, and the 86 GHz SiO line-peak velocities agree using either of the four sampled lines. Additionally, the SiO maser velocities agree with the OH maser derived velocities.
The Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamical Evolution (BAaDE) survey aims to use circumstellar SiO maser line-of-sight velocities as probes for the Galactic gravitational potential and dynamical structure. The SiO masers are detected at a high rate in specific color-selected MSX infrared sources. Furthermore, the SiO maser properties and line ratios, in combination with infrared spectral energy distributions and location in the Galaxy, will statistically yield detailed information on population and evolution of low- to intermediate-mass evolved stars in the Galaxy.
We report on the Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamic Evolution (BAaDE) survey which has observed 19 000 MSX color selected red giant stars for SiO maser emission at 43 GHz with the VLA and is in the process of observing 9 000 of these stars with ALMA at 86 GHz in the Southern sky. Our setup covers the main maser transitions, as well as those of isotopologues and selected lines of carbon-bearing species. Observations of this set of lines allow a far-reaching catalog of line-of-sight velocities in the dust-obscured regions where optical surveys cannot reach. Our preliminary detection rate is close to 70%, predicting a wealth of new information on the distribution of metal rich stars, their kinematics as function of location in the Galaxy, as well as the occurrence of lines and line ratios between the different transitions in combination with the spectral energy distribution from about 1 to 100 μm. Similar to the OH/IR stars, a clear kinematic signature between disk and bulge stars can be seen. Furthermore, the SiO J = →10 (v=3) line plays a prominent role in the derived maser properties.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) surveys have initially been optimized to omit the inner part of the Milky Way disk/bar from deep and cadence observations. However it is now clear that the LSST will be powerful for Galactic astronomy and may play a crucial role in continuing to extend the Gaia astrometric catalog until a future satellite, either optical or IR, carries on. LSST will provide metallicities and kinematics for the bulge, and will map halo structures to as distant as 450 kpc, nearly half the distance to the Andromeda galaxy. Thanks to the unprecedented calibration effort for its photometric system, and surprisingly good astrometry (transverse velocity measurements of 0.2 mas/yr at r=21; 1 mas/yr at r=24) LSST will provide photometric abundances and distance constraints for a billion or more Milky Way stars to distances of 450 kpc, and kinematics from proper motions to ~100 kpc. Single observation depths reach ~24 in the ugrizy bands, while depths at end of mission reach ~27. Although halo structures such as streams and dwarf galaxies are initially identified by the RR Lyrae and giants, their structure will be fleshed out by the 100× more abundant dwarfs that will be detected to 100 kpc (single observation) and ~300 kpc by end of mission. More complete mapping of stream structures may constrain the mass distribution of dark matter and perhaps confirm the interaction of dark matter halos and streams. I also describe the Blanco DECam Bulge Survey, a 200 deg2 LSST pathfinder survey of the bulge in ugrizy using the Dark Energy Camera on the Blanco 4m telescope. The purpose of this article is to encourage active workers on the Milky Way and Local Volume to participate in the LSST project, in particular to urge that the Galactic Plane receive the same cadence and depth coverage as the rest of the extragalactic sky.
A radio survey of red giant SiO sources in the inner Galaxy and bulge is not hindered by extinction. Accurate stellar velocities (<1 km/s) are obtained with minimal observing time (<1 min) per source. Detecting over 20,000 SiO maser sources yields data comparable to optical surveys with the additional strength of a much more thorough coverage of the highly obscured inner Galaxy. Modeling of such a large sample would reveal dynamical structures and minority populations; the velocity structure can be compared to kinematic structures seen in molecular gas, complex orbit structure in the bar, or stellar streams resulting from recently infallen systems. Our Bulge Asymmetries and Dynamic Evolution (BAaDE) survey yields bright SiO masers suitable for follow-up Galactic orbit and parallax determination using VLBI.
Here we outline our early VLA observations at 43 GHz in the northern bulge and Galactic plane (0<l°<250), and ALMA observations at 86 GHz in the southern bulge (250<l°<360). We report a preliminary overall 70% detection rate in our color-selected MSX sources.
As part of the Z-PAndAS Keck II DEIMOS survey of resolved stars in our neighboring galaxy, Andromeda (M31), we have built up a unique data set of measured velocities and chemistries for thousands of stars in the Andromeda stellar halo, particularly probing its rich and complex substructure. In this contribution, we will discuss the structural, dynamical and chemical properties of Andromeda's dwarf spheroidal galaxies, and how there is no observational evidence for a difference in the evolutionary histories of those found on and off M31's vast plane of satellites. We will also discuss a possible extension to the most significant merger event in M31 - the Giant Southern Stream - and how we can use this feature to refine our understanding of M31's mass profile, and its complex evolution.
We present the first results from a survey of deep imaging of edge-on galaxies, with the goal of testing the growth-by-accretion of galaxies proposed by ΛCDM. The data were obtained with a new telescope at the Wise Observatory. Our images show previously unreported extensions of the disk, tidal distortions, and streams at the level of 27-28 mag arcsec−2.
We have used dedicated 0.7m telescopes in California and Israel to image the halos of ~ 200 galaxies in the Local Volume to 29 mag/sq arcsec, the sample mainly drawn from the 2MASS Large Galaxy Atlas (LGA). We supplement the LGA sample with dwarf galaxies and more distant giant ellipticals. Low surface brightness halos exceeding 50 kpc in diameter are found only in galaxies more luminous than L*, and classic interaction signatures are relatively infrequent. Halo diameter is correlated with total galaxy luminosity. Extended low surface brightness halos are present even in galaxies as faint as MV = - 18. Edge-on galaxies with boxy bulges tend to lack extended spheroidal halos, while those with large classical bulges exhibit extended round halos, supporting the notions that boxy or barlike bulges originate from disks. Most face-on spiral galaxies present features that appear to be irregular extensions of spiral arms, although rare cases show smooth boundaries with no sign of star formation. Although we serendipitously discovered a dwarf galaxy undergoing tidal disruption in the halo of NGC 4449, we found no comparable examples in our general survey. A search for similar examples in the Local Volume identified hcc087, a tidally disrupting dwarf galaxy in the Hercules Cluster, but we do not confirm an anomalously large half-light radius reported for the dwarf VCC 1661.
In a series of papers, we have performed N-body simulations of a galaxy collision to reproduce the observed shape, kinematics, and metallicity distribution of a giant stellar stream and shell-like structures in the halo of Andromeda galaxy (M31).
We use the underlying data of the IMPLAN Pro 3.0 regional economic simulation model to estimate the current economic contribution of Michigan's local food system and explore the chain of transactions giving rise to consumption of locally sourced goods from producer to processor to consumption. The proposed methodology includes both unprocessed and processed foods in the estimation of the local food system's economic value. The model also provides a replicable and consistent approach to estimating the value of local food systems within regional and state economies.
1. McWilliam and Zoccali (2009) show the existence of two Red Clump populations towards the Galactic bulge, based on 2MASS data. 2.Measured [Mg/Fe], [Al/Fe], and [La/Eu] ratios in the bulge are consistent with a rapid formation timescale (<1Gyr), which also requires a slightly top-heavy IMF to reproduce the mean bulge metallicity. The [C/O] and [O/Fe] ratios are consistent if their predicted metal-dependent yields from massive stars with winds are considered. The decline in explosive [α/Fe] (Si, Ca, and Ti) can only be understood if their yields also decline with metallicity above [Fe/H]~−1.
The white dwarf cooling age of a globular star cluster provides a potentially precise method of determining the ages of these ancient systems. This age-dating technique should be viewed as one distinct from that of turn-off ages, with a largely different set of input physics and problems. As such the ages produced by these two methods are complimentary and we seek convergent to the same value. In addition to deep photometry and astrometry of cluster stars, precise distances to the clusters and their reddenings are required. Theoretical models of both main sequence stars and cooling white dwarfs are also needed as well as the masses of the white dwarfs and an initial-final mass relationship. In this contribution I discuss a potentially precise approach to cluster distances via a geometric technique (comparing the internal proper motion dispersion of cluster stars with their radial velocity dispersion) and spectroscopically determined masses of M4 white dwarfs at the top of the cooling sequence. These latter data extend the initial-final mass relationship down to the lowest mass stars that are currently forming white dwarfs.
In 2004 a deep sequence of HST images of the Bulge was used to identify sixteen transiting extrasolar planet candidates (the SWEEPS candidates; Sahu et al. 2006), of which at least seven are likely to be true planets. Of these, SWEEPS-4 is almost certainly in the disk, and was shown through radial velocity followup to contain a planetary companion; the identification of the remaining fifteen candidates was left undetermined.
We have used a repeat visit in 2006 to attach proper motions to some 180,000 objects, including all sixteen SWEEPS candidates. This has allowed us to build a sample of bulge stars to unprecedented purity. A population of more than 13,000 bulge objects is kinematically isolated, with fewer than thirty disk contaminants. We use the mean bulge and disk populations to test the balance of kinematic associations for the sixteen SWEEPS candidates. Assuming both the detectability and the astrophysical false-positive fraction to be similar for disk and bulge, we find the fraction of stars with planets in the bulge to be consistent with that in the disk.
A proper motion study of a field of 20′ × 20′ inside Plaut's low extinction window (l,b)=(0o, −8o), has been completed. Relative proper motions and photographic BV photometry have been derived for ~ 21,000 stars reaching to V ~ 20.5 mag, based on the astrometric reduction of 43 photographic plates, spanning over 21 years of epoch difference. Proper motion errors are typically 1 mas yr−1. Cross-referencing with the 2MASS catalog yielded a sample of ~ 8700 stars, from which predominantly disk and bulge subsamples were selected photometrically from the JH color-magnitude diagram. The two samples exhibited different proper-motion distributions, with the disk displaying the expected reflex solar motion. Galactic rotation was also detected for stars between ~2 and ~3 kpc from us. The bulge sample, represented by red giants, has an intrinsic proper motion dispersion of (σl, σb) = (3.39, 2.91)±(0.11, 0.09) mas yr−1, which is in good agreement with previous results. A mean distance of kpc has been estimated for the bulge sample, based on the observed K magnitude of the horizontal branch red clump. The metallicity [M/H] distribution was also obtained for a subsample of 60 bulge giants stars, based on calibrated photometric indices. The observed [M/H] shows a peak value at [M/H] ~ −0.1 with an extended metal poor tail and around 30% of the stars with supersolar metallicity. No change in proper motion dispersion was observed as a function of [M/H]. We are currently in the process of obtaining CCD UBV RI photometry for the entire proper-motion sample of ~ 21,000 stars.
In 2004 the Sagittarius Window Eclipsing Extrasolar Planet Search (SWEEPS) project undertook a very deep ACS/WFC exposure-set of the Sgr-I low-reddening window in the Galactic Bulge, with repeat observations 2.04 years later. The combination of superb first-epoch sampling, wide field of view and high PSF stability of ACS/WFC on Hubble allows proper motions to be extracted for more than 137,000 objects, over 85,000 to accuracy better than 0.3 mas yr−1. We present these proper motions and outline some of the uses to which they have been put, including the separation of a pure-Bulge sample and the inner Galactic rotation curve.
We present recent results from a Keck study of the composition of the Galactic bulge, as well as results from the bulge Bulge Radial Velocity Assay (BRAVA). Culminating a 10 year investigation, Fulbright, McWilliam, & Rich (2006, 2007) solved the problem of deriving the iron abundance in the Galactic bulge, and find enhanced alpha element abundances, consistent with the earlier work of McWilliam & Rich (1994). We also report on a radial velocity survey of 2MASS-selected M giant stars in the Galactic bulge, observed with the CTIO 4m Hydra multi-object spectrograph. This program is to test dynamical models of the bulge and to search for and map any dynamically cold substructure in the Galactic bulge. We show initial results on fields at −10° < l < + 10° and b = −4°. We construct a longitude-velocity plot for the bulge stars and the model data, and find that contrary to previous studies, the bulge does not rotate as a solid body; from −5° < l < + 5° the rotation curve has a slope of ≈ 100 km s−1 and flattens considerably at greater l and reaches a maximum rotation of 45 km s−1 (heliocentric) or ~ 70 km s−1 (Galactocentric). This rotation is slower than that predicted by the dynamical model of Zhao (1996).
The hot He-burning horizontal-branch (HB) stars and their progeny are most likely dominant ultraviolet (UV) sources in the old stellar population systems such as globular clusters (GCs). Integrated FUV flux can be an age indicator of GCs and allow us to investigate age distributions of GCs within a given galaxy or between galaxies. The unprecedented set of UV photometry for M31 by Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), coupled with most recent detailed population models enable to study detailed global UV properties of M31 GCs.