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  1. ABSTRACT We present Gemini-S and Spitzer-IRAC optical-through-near-IR observations in the field of the SPT2349-56 proto-cluster at z = 4.3. We detect optical/IR counterparts for only 9 of the 14 submillimetre galaxies (SMGs) previously identified by ALMA in the core of SPT2349-56. In addition, we detect four z ∼ 4 Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) in the 30 arcsec-diameter region surrounding this proto-cluster core. Three of the four LBGs are new systems, while one appears to be a counterpart of one of the nine observed SMGs. We identify a candidate brightest cluster galaxy (BCG) with a stellar mass of $(3.2^{+2.3}_{-1.4})\times 10^{11}$ M⊙. The stellar massesmore »of the eight other SMGs place them on, above, and below the main sequence of star formation at z ≈ 4.5. The cumulative stellar mass for the SPT2349-56 core is at least (12.2 ± 2.8) × 1011 M⊙, a sizeable fraction of the stellar mass in local BCGs, and close to the universal baryon fraction (0.19) relative to the virial mass of the core (1013 M⊙). As all 14 of these SMGs are destined to quickly merge, we conclude that the proto-cluster core has already developed a significant stellar mass at this early stage, comparable to z = 1 BCGs. Importantly, we also find that the SPT2349-56 core structure would be difficult to uncover in optical surveys, with none of the ALMA sources being easily identifiable or constrained through g, r, and i colour selection in deep optical surveys and only a modest overdensity of LBGs over the more extended structure. SPT2349-56 therefore represents a truly dust-obscured phase of a massive cluster core under formation.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 5, 2022
  2. Abstract The search for life in the Universe is a fundamental problem of astrobiology and modern science. The current progress in the detection of terrestrial-type exoplanets has opened a new avenue in the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and in the search for biosignatures of life with the upcoming ground-based and space missions. To specify the conditions favourable for the origin, development and sustainment of life as we know it in other worlds, we need to understand the nature of global (astrospheric), and local (atmospheric and surface) environments of exoplanets in the habitable zones (HZs) around G-K-M dwarf stars including ourmore »young Sun. Global environment is formed by propagated disturbances from the planet-hosting stars in the form of stellar flares, coronal mass ejections, energetic particles and winds collectively known as astrospheric space weather. Its characterization will help in understanding how an exoplanetary ecosystem interacts with its host star, as well as in the specification of the physical, chemical and biochemical conditions that can create favourable and/or detrimental conditions for planetary climate and habitability along with evolution of planetary internal dynamics over geological timescales. A key linkage of (astro)physical, chemical and geological processes can only be understood in the framework of interdisciplinary studies with the incorporation of progress in heliophysics, astrophysics, planetary and Earth sciences. The assessment of the impacts of host stars on the climate and habitability of terrestrial (exo)planets will significantly expand the current definition of the HZ to the biogenic zone and provide new observational strategies for searching for signatures of life. The major goal of this paper is to describe and discuss the current status and recent progress in this interdisciplinary field in light of presentations and discussions during the NASA Nexus for Exoplanetary System Science funded workshop ‘Exoplanetary Space Weather, Climate and Habitability’ and to provide a new roadmap for the future development of the emerging field of exoplanetary science and astrobiology.« less