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GravityCam is a new concept of ground-based imaging instrument capable of delivering significantly sharper images from the ground than is normally possible without adaptive optics. Advances in optical and near-infrared imaging technologies allow images to be acquired at high speed without significant noise penalty. Aligning these images before they are combined can yield a 2.5–3-fold improvement in image resolution. By using arrays of such detectors, survey fields may be as wide as the telescope optics allows. Consequently, GravityCam enables both wide-field high-resolution imaging and high-speed photometry. We describe the instrument and detail its application to provide demographics of planets and satellites down to Lunar mass (or even below) across the Milky Way. GravityCam is also suited to improve the quality of weak shear studies of dark matter distribution in distant clusters of galaxies and multiwavelength follow-ups of background sources that are strongly lensed by galaxy clusters. The photometric data arising from an extensive microlensing survey will also be useful for asteroseismology studies, while GravityCam can be used to monitor fast multiwavelength flaring in accreting compact objects and promises to generate a unique data set on the population of the Kuiper belt and possibly the Oort cloud.
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.
IR spectroscopy in the range 12–230 μm with the SPace IR telescope for Cosmology and Astrophysics (SPICA) will reveal the physical processes governing the formation and evolution of galaxies and black holes through cosmic time, bridging the gap between the James Webb Space Telescope and the upcoming Extremely Large Telescopes at shorter wavelengths and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array at longer wavelengths. The SPICA, with its 2.5-m telescope actively cooled to below 8 K, will obtain the first spectroscopic determination, in the mid-IR rest-frame, of both the star-formation rate and black hole accretion rate histories of galaxies, reaching lookback times of 12 Gyr, for large statistically significant samples. Densities, temperatures, radiation fields, and gas-phase metallicities will be measured in dust-obscured galaxies and active galactic nuclei, sampling a large range in mass and luminosity, from faint local dwarf galaxies to luminous quasars in the distant Universe. Active galactic nuclei and starburst feedback and feeding mechanisms in distant galaxies will be uncovered through detailed measurements of molecular and atomic line profiles. The SPICA’s large-area deep spectrophotometric surveys will provide mid-IR spectra and continuum fluxes for unbiased samples of tens of thousands of galaxies, out to redshifts of z ~ 6.
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.
An IgM-antibody capture radioimmunoassay (MACRIA) was developed for the detection of IgM antibody specific for the human parvovirus-like agent B19. Diagnosis of infection with this agent by either antigen detection or antibody seroconversion had been made by counter-current immunoelectrophoresis (CIE) in 18 cases of aplastic crisis occurring in children with homozygous sickle-cell disease. The MACRIA described here gave positive results in 17 of these 18 cases; in the remaining case only an acute specimen taken from the patient during viraemia and late convalescent specimens taken 184 and 247 days after onset of illness were available.
The test was used to investigate 20 further cases of aplastic crisis in which neither viral antigen nor antibody seroconversion could be detected by CIE. Detection of virus-specific IgM permitted diagnosis of infection with this parvovirus-like agent in 17 of these cases. In the remaining three cases only single serum specimens taken late in convalescence, 82 days or more after the onset of symptoms, were available.
In addition to these 34 cases of aplastic crisis in which primary infection with this agent was diagnosed by MACRIA, seven cases of apparent ‘silent’ infection detected by CIE were investigated. The test permitted the discrimination between primary infection and re-exposure to the virus in six of these patients.
The use of this assay has added a considerable weight of evidence implicating primary infection with this parvovirus-like agent as an important cause of aplastic crisis in children with sickle-cell disease. Furthermore, MACRIA permits diagnosis of infection when only single serum specimens taken up to ten weeks after infection are available. Thus the use of this test will significantly facilitate the investigation of other clinical syndromes of presumptive infectious aetiology.
We study the submillimetre (submm) properties of the following near-infrared (NIR)-selected massive galaxies at high redshifts: BzK-selected star-forming galaxies (BzKs), distant red galaxies (DRGs) and extremely red objects (EROs). We used the SCUBA HAlf Degree Extragalactic Survey (SHADES), the largest uniform submm survey to date. Since BzKs are expected to include obscured star-forming galaxies at 1.4 < z < 2.5, it is possible that the submm galaxies are a sub-group of BzKs. We identified 4 BzKs as submm galaxies within 93 arcmin2 by using high resolution radio images. This indicates that only ~20% of submm galaxies are BzKs. However, this fraction is consistent with the assumption that the most of submm galaxies at 1.4 < z < 2.5 are BzKs, considering the redshift distribution, radio-detection rate and observed K-band magnitudes of submm galaxies. We found no submm detections for EROs which are clearly non-BzKs. We identify two submm-bright NIR-selected galaxies, which satisfy all the selection criteria we adopt; i.e. they belong to the BzK-DRG-ERO overlapping population, or ‘extremely red’ BzKs. Although these extremely red BzKs are rare (0.25 arcmin−2), about 10% of this population could be submm galaxies. With a stacking analysis, we detected the 850-μm flux of submm-faint BzKs and EROs in our SCUBA maps. While the contribution from BzKs at z ~ 2 to submm background is about 10–15% and similar to that from EROs typically at z ~ 1, BzKs have a higher fraction (~30%) of submm flux in resolved sources than EROs and submm sources as a whole do. Therefore, submm flux of BzKs seems to be biased high. From the SED fitting using an evolutionary model of starbursts with radiative transfer, submm-bright BzKs are found to have the stellar mass of >5 × 1010M⊙ with the luminosity of >3 × 1012L⊙. From an average SED of submm-faint BzKs having similar B − z and z − K colours to submm-bright ones, we suggest that submm-bright BzKs are more massive than submm-faint ones.
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