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    The interstellar medium is threaded by a hierarchy of filaments from large scales (∼100 pc) to small scales (∼0.1 pc). The masses and lengths of these nested structures may reveal important constraints for cloud formation and evolution, but it is difficult to investigate from an evolutionary perspective using single observations. In this work, we extract simulated molecular clouds from the ‘Cloud Factory’ galactic-scale ISM suite in combination with 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code polaris to investigate how filamentary structure evolves over time. We produce synthetic dust continuum observations in three regions with a series of snapshots and use the filfinder algorithm to identify filaments in the dust derived column density maps. When the synthetic filaments mass and length are plotted on an mass–length (M–L) plot, we see a scaling relation of L ∝ M0.45 similar to that seen in observations, and find that the filaments are thermally supercritical. Projection effects systematically affect the masses and lengths measured for the filaments, and are particularly severe in crowded regions. In the filament M–L diagram we identify three main evolutionary mechanisms: accretion, segmentation, and dispersal. In particular we find that the filaments typically evolve from smaller to larger masses in the observational M–L plane, indicating the dominant role of accretion in filament evolution. Moreover, we find a potential correlation between line mass and filament growth rate. Once filaments are actively star forming they then segment into smaller sections, or are dispersed by internal or external forces.

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  2. Abstract

    Filamentary structures in neutral hydrogen (Hi) emission are well aligned with the interstellar magnetic field, so Hiemission morphology can be used to construct templates that strongly correlate with measurements of polarized thermal dust emission. We explore how the quantification of filament morphology affects this correlation. We introduce a new implementation of the Rolling Hough Transform (RHT) using spherical harmonic convolutions, which enables efficient quantification of filamentary structure on the sphere. We use this Spherical RHT algorithm along with a Hessian-based method to construct Hi-based polarization templates. We discuss improvements to each algorithm relative to similar implementations in the literature and compare their outputs. By exploring the parameter space of filament morphologies with the Spherical RHT, we find that the most informative Histructures for modeling the magnetic field structure are the thinnest resolved filaments. For this reason, we find a ∼10% enhancement in theB-mode correlation with polarized dust emission with higher-resolution Hiobservations. We demonstrate that certain interstellar morphologies can produce parity-violating signatures, i.e., nonzeroTBandEB, even under the assumption that filaments are locally aligned with the magnetic field. Finally, we demonstrate thatBmodes from interstellar dust filaments are mostly affected by the topology of the filaments with respect to one another and their relative polarized intensities, whereasEmodes are mostly sensitive to the shapes of individual filaments.

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  3. Abstract

    We present a cross-correlation analysis between1resolution total intensity and polarization observations from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) at 150 and 220 GHz and 15″ mid-infrared photometry from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) over 107 12.°5 × 12.°5 patches of sky. We detect a spatially isotropic signal in the WISE×ACTTTcross-power spectrum at 30σsignificance that we interpret as the correlation between the cosmic infrared background at ACT frequencies and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) emission from galaxies in WISE, i.e., the cosmic PAH background. Within the Milky Way, the Galactic dustTTspectra are generally well described by power laws inover the range 103<< 104, but there is evidence both for variability in the power-law index and for non-power-law behavior in some regions. We measure a positive correlation between WISE total intensity and ACTE-mode polarization at 1000 <≲ 6000 at >3σin each of 35 distinct ∼100 deg2regions of the sky, suggesting that alignment between Galactic density structures and the local magnetic field persists to subparsec physical scales in these regions. The distribution ofTEamplitudes in thisrange across all 107 regions is biased to positive values, while there is no evidence for such a bias in theTBspectra. This work constitutes the highest-measurements of the Galactic dustTEspectrum to date and indicates that cross-correlation with high-resolution mid-infrared measurements of dust emission is a promising tool for constraining the spatial statistics of dust emission at millimeter wavelengths.

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    Turbulence plays a crucial role in shaping the structure of the interstellar medium. The ratio of the three-dimensional density contrast ($\sigma _{\rho /\rho _0}$) to the turbulent sonic Mach number ($\mathcal {M}$) of an isothermal, compressible gas describes the ratio of solenoidal to compressive modes in the turbulent acceleration field of the gas, and is parameterized by the turbulence driving parameter: $b=\sigma _{\rho /\rho _0}/\mathcal {M}$. The turbulence driving parameter ranges from b = 1/3 (purely solenoidal) to b = 1 (purely compressive), with b = 0.38 characterizing the natural mixture (1/3 compressive, 2/3 solenoidal) of the two driving modes. Here, we present a new method for recovering $\sigma _{\rho /\rho _0}$, $\mathcal {M}$, and b, from observations on galactic scales, using a roving kernel to produce maps of these quantities from column density and centroid velocity maps. We apply our method to high-resolution ${\rm H}\,\rm{\small I}$ emission observations of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) from the GASKAP-HI survey. We find that the turbulence driving parameter varies between b ∼ 0.3 and 1.0 within the main body of the SMC, but the median value converges to b ∼ 0.51, suggesting that the turbulence is overall driven more compressively (b > 0.38). We observe no correlation between the b parameter and ${\rm H}\,\rm{\small I}$ or H α intensity, indicating that compressive driving of ${\rm H}\,\rm{\small I}$ turbulence cannot be determined solely by observing ${\rm H}\,\rm{\small I}$ or H α emission density, and that velocity information must also be considered. Further investigation is required to link our findings to potential driving mechanisms such as star-formation feedback, gravitational collapse, or cloud–cloud collisions.

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  5. Abstract Stellar streams from globular clusters (GCs) offer constraints on the nature of dark matter and have been used to explore the dark matter halo structure and substructure of our Galaxy. Detection of GC streams in other galaxies would broaden this endeavor to a cosmological context, yet no such streams have been detected to date. To enable such exploration, we develop the Hough Stream Spotter ( HSS ), and apply it to the Pan-Andromeda Archaeological Survey (PAndAS) photometric data of resolved stars in M31's stellar halo. We first demonstrate that our code can re-discover known dwarf streams in M31. We then use the HSS to blindly identify 27 linear GC stream-like structures in the PAndAS data. For each HSS GC stream candidate, we investigate the morphologies of the streams and the colors and magnitudes of all stars in the candidate streams. We find that the five most significant detections show a stronger signal along the red giant branch in color–magnitude diagrams than spurious non-stream detections. Lastly, we demonstrate that the HSS will easily detect globular cluster streams in future Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope data of nearby galaxies. This has the potential to open up a new discovery space for GC stream studies, GC stream gap searches, and for GC stream-based constraints on the nature of dark matter. 
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  6. Abstract

    We present cosmological constraints from a gravitational lensing mass map covering 9400 deg2reconstructed from measurements of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) made by the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) from 2017 to 2021. In combination with measurements of baryon acoustic oscillations and big bang nucleosynthesis, we obtain the clustering amplitudeσ8= 0.819 ± 0.015 at 1.8% precision,S8σ8(Ωm/0.3)0.5=0.840±0.028, and the Hubble constantH0= (68.3 ± 1.1) km s−1Mpc−1at 1.6% precision. A joint constraint with Planck CMB lensing yieldsσ8= 0.812 ± 0.013,S8σ8(Ωm/0.3)0.5=0.831±0.023, andH0= (68.1 ± 1.0) km s−1Mpc−1. These measurements agree with ΛCDM extrapolations from the CMB anisotropies measured by Planck. We revisit constraints from the KiDS, DES, and HSC galaxy surveys with a uniform set of assumptions and find thatS8from all three are lower than that from ACT+Planck lensing by levels ranging from 1.7σto 2.1σ. This motivates further measurements and comparison, not just between the CMB anisotropies and galaxy lensing but also between CMB lensing probingz∼ 0.5–5 on mostly linear scales and galaxy lensing atz∼ 0.5 on smaller scales. We combine with CMB anisotropies to constrain extensions of ΛCDM, limiting neutrino masses to ∑mν< 0.13 eV (95% c.l.), for example. We describe the mass map and related data products that will enable a wide array of cross-correlation science. Our results provide independent confirmation that the universe is spatially flat, conforms with general relativity, and is described remarkably well by the ΛCDM model, while paving a promising path for neutrino physics with lensing from upcoming ground-based CMB surveys.

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  7. Abstract

    We present new measurements of cosmic microwave background (CMB) lensing over 9400 deg2of the sky. These lensing measurements are derived from the Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) Data Release 6 (DR6) CMB data set, which consists of five seasons of ACT CMB temperature and polarization observations. We determine the amplitude of the CMB lensing power spectrum at 2.3% precision (43σsignificance) using a novel pipeline that minimizes sensitivity to foregrounds and to noise properties. To ensure that our results are robust, we analyze an extensive set of null tests, consistency tests, and systematic error estimates and employ a blinded analysis framework. Our CMB lensing power spectrum measurement provides constraints on the amplitude of cosmic structure that do not depend on Planck or galaxy survey data, thus giving independent information about large-scale structure growth and potential tensions in structure measurements. The baseline spectrum is well fit by a lensing amplitude ofAlens= 1.013 ± 0.023 relative to the Planck 2018 CMB power spectra best-fit ΛCDM model andAlens= 1.005 ± 0.023 relative to the ACT DR4 + WMAP best-fit model. From our lensing power spectrum measurement, we derive constraints on the parameter combinationS8CMBLσ8Ωm/0.30.25ofS8CMBL=0.818±0.022from ACT DR6 CMB lensing alone andS8CMBL=0.813±0.018when combining ACT DR6 and PlanckNPIPECMB lensing power spectra. These results are in excellent agreement with ΛCDM model constraints from Planck or ACT DR4 + WMAP CMB power spectrum measurements. Our lensing measurements from redshiftsz∼ 0.5–5 are thus fully consistent with ΛCDM structure growth predictions based on CMB anisotropies probing primarilyz∼ 1100. We find no evidence for a suppression of the amplitude of cosmic structure at low redshifts.

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  8. Abstract

    Observing in six frequency bands from 27 to 280 GHz over a large sky area, the Simons Observatory (SO) is poised to address many questions in Galactic astrophysics in addition to its principal cosmological goals. In this work, we provide quantitative forecasts on astrophysical parameters of interest for a range of Galactic science cases. We find that SO can: constrain the frequency spectrum of polarized dust emission at a level of Δβd≲ 0.01 and thus test models of dust composition that predict thatβdin polarization differs from that measured in total intensity; measure the correlation coefficient between polarized dust and synchrotron emission with a factor of two greater precision than current constraints; exclude the nonexistence of exo-Oort clouds at roughly 2.9σif the true fraction is similar to the detection rate of giant planets; map more than 850 molecular clouds with at least 50 independent polarization measurements at 1 pc resolution; detect or place upper limits on the polarization fractions of CO(2–1) emission and anomalous microwave emission at the 0.1% level in select regions; and measure the correlation coefficient between optical starlight polarization and microwave polarized dust emission in 1° patches for all lines of sight withNH≳ 2 × 1020cm−2. The goals and forecasts outlined here provide a roadmap for other microwave polarization experiments to expand their scientific scope via Milky Way astrophysics.37

    A supplement describing author contributions to this paper can be found at

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  9. Abstract

    We present a detailed overview of the science goals and predictions for the Prime-Cam direct-detection camera–spectrometer being constructed by the CCAT-prime collaboration for dedicated use on the Fred Young Submillimeter Telescope (FYST). The FYST is a wide-field, 6 m aperture submillimeter telescope being built (first light in late 2023) by an international consortium of institutions led by Cornell University and sited at more than 5600 m on Cerro Chajnantor in northern Chile. Prime-Cam is one of two instruments planned for FYST and will provide unprecedented spectroscopic and broadband measurement capabilities to address important astrophysical questions ranging from Big Bang cosmology through reionization and the formation of the first galaxies to star formation within our own Milky Way. Prime-Cam on the FYST will have a mapping speed that is over 10 times greater than existing and near-term facilities for high-redshift science and broadband polarimetric imaging at frequencies above 300 GHz. We describe details of the science program enabled by this system and our preliminary survey strategies.

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