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  1. As star-forming dwarf irregulars and faint spirals fall onto a cluster, their gas content is easily and quickly removed by ram-pressure stripping or other cluster forces. Residual signs of star formation cease within 100 Myr, and only after approximately 1 Gyr do their optical features transition to elliptical.Despite this, ALFALFA has uncovered a population of three “red and dead” dwarf ellipticals in the Virgo Cluster which still have detectable reservoirs of HI. These dwarf ellipticals are extremely gas-rich—as gas-rich as the cluster’s star-forming dwarf irregulars (Hallenbeck et al. 2012). Where does this gas come from? We consider two possibilities. First, that the gas is recently acquired, and has not yet had time to form stars. Second, that the gas is primordial, and has been disrupted from being able to form stars during the current epoch.We present deep optical (using CFHT and KPNO) and HI (Arecibo and VLA) observations of this sample to demonstrate that this gas is primordial. These observations show that all three galaxies have exponentially decreasing profiles characteristic of dwarf ellipticals and that their rotation velocities are extremely low. However, like more massive elliptical galaxies with HI, these dwarf galaxies show irregular optical morphology. For one target, VCCmore »190, we additionally observe an HI tail consistent with a recent interaction with the massive spiral galaxy NGC 4224.« less
  2. The Undergraduate ALFALFA team is currently focusing on the analysis of the Pisces-Perseus Supercluster to test current supercluster formation models. The primary goal of our research is to reduce L-band HI data from the Arecibo telescope. To reduce the data we use IDL programs written by our collaborators to reduce the data and find potential sources whose mass can be estimated by the baryonic Tully-Fisher relation, which relates the luminosity to the rotational velocity profile of spiral galaxies. Thus far we have reduced data and estimated HI masses for several galaxies in the supercluster region.We will give examples of data reduction and preliminary results for both the fall 2015 and 2016 observing seasons. We will also describe the data reduction process and the process of learning the associated software, and the use of virtual observatory tools such as the SDSS databases, Aladin, TOPCAT and others.This research was supported by the NSF grant AST-1211005.
  3. We have completed three “Harvesting ALFALFA” Arecibo observing programs in the direction of the Pisces-Perseus Supercluster (PPS) since ALFALFA observations were finished in 2012. The first was to perform follow-up observations on high signal-to-noise (S/N > 6.5) ALFALFA detections needing confirmation and low S/N sources lacking optical counterparts. A few more high S/N objects were observed in the second program along with targets visually selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The third program included low S/N ALFALFA sources having optical counterparts with redshifts that were unknown or differed from the ALFALFA observations. It also included more galaxies selected from SDSS by eye and by Structured Query Language (SQL) searches with parameters intended to select galaxies at the distance of the PPS (~6,000 km/s). We used pointed basic Total-Power Position-Switched Observations in the 1340 - 1430 MHz ALFALFA frequency range. For sources of known redshift, we used the Wideband Arecibo Pulsar Processors (WAPP’s) , while for sources of unknown redshift we utilized a hybrid/dual bandwidth Doppler tracking mode using the Arecibo Interim 50-MHz Correlator with 9-level sampling.Results confirmed that a few high S/N ALFALFA sources are spurious as expected from the work of Saintonge (2007), low S/N ALFALA sourcesmore »lacking an optical counterpart are all likely to be spurious, but low S/N sources with optical counterparts are generally reliable. Of the optically selected sources, about 80% were detected and tended to be near the distance of the PPS.This work has been supported by NSF grant AST-1211005.« less
  4. We have completed three “Harvesting ALFALFA” Arecibo observing programs in the direction of the Pisces-Perseus Supercluster (PPS) since ALFALFA observations were finished in 2012. The first was to perform follow-up observations on high signal-to-noise (S/N > 6.5) ALFALFA detections needing confirmation and low S/N sources lacking optical counterparts. A few more high S/N objects were observed in the second program along with targets visually selected from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS). The third program included low S/N ALFALFA sources having optical counterparts with redshifts that were unknown or differed from the ALFALFA observations. It also included more galaxies selected from SDSS by eye and by Structured Query Language (SQL) searches with parameters intended to select galaxies at the distance of the PPS (~6,000 km/s). We used pointed basic Total-Power Position-Switched Observations in the 1340 - 1430 MHz ALFALFA frequency range. For sources of known redshift, we used the Wideband Arecibo Pulsar Processors (WAPP’s) , while for sources of unknown redshift we utilized a hybrid/dual bandwidth Doppler tracking mode using the Arecibo Interim 50-MHz Correlator with 9-level sampling.Results confirmed that a few high S/N ALFALFA sources are spurious as expected from the work of Saintonge (2007), low S/N ALFALA sourcesmore »lacking an optical counterpart are all likely to be spurious, but low S/N sources with optical counterparts are generally reliable. Of the optically selected sources, about 80% were detected and tended to be near the distance of the PPS.This work has been supported by NSF grant AST-1211005.« less
  5. The Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey is a targeted HI survey of galaxies that began its second observing season in October 2016. The survey is conducted by members of the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT) and extensively involves undergraduates in observations, data reduction, and analysis. It aims to complement the HI sources identified by the ALFALFA extragalactic HI line survey by probing deeper in HI mass (to lower masses) than the legacy survey itself. Measurements of the HI line velocity widths will be combined with uniform processing of images obtained in the SDSS and GALEX public databases to localize the sample within the baryonic Tully Fisher relation, allowing estimates of their redshift-independent distances and thus their peculiar velocities.The survey is designed to constrain Pisces-Perseus Supercluster infall models by producing 5-σ detections of infall velocities to a precision of about 500 km/s. By targeting galaxies based on SDSS and GALEX photometry, we have achieved detection rates of 68% of the galaxies in our sample. We will discuss the target selection process, HI velocities and mass estimates from the 2015 fall observing season, preliminary results from 2016 observations, and preliminary comparisons with inflow models predicted by numerical simulations.This work has been supported by NSFmore »grants AST-1211005, AST-1637339, AST-1637262.« less
  6. The Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey is a targeted HI survey of galaxies that began its second observing season in October 2016. The survey is conducted by members of the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team (UAT) and extensively involves undergraduates in observations, data reduction, and analysis. It aims to complement the HI sources identified by the ALFALFA extragalactic HI line survey by probing deeper in HI mass (to lower masses) than the legacy survey itself. Measurements of the HI line velocity widths will be combined with uniform processing of images obtained in the SDSS and GALEX public databases to localize the sample within the baryonic Tully Fisher relation, allowing estimates of their redshift-independent distances and thus their peculiar velocities.The survey is designed to constrain Pisces-Perseus Supercluster infall models by producing 5-σ detections of infall velocities to a precision of about 500 km/s. By targeting galaxies based on SDSS and GALEX photometry, we have achieved detection rates of 68% of the galaxies in our sample. We will discuss the target selection process, HI velocities and mass estimates from the 2015 fall observing season, preliminary results from 2016 observations, and preliminary comparisons with inflow models predicted by numerical simulations.This work has been supported by NSFmore »grants AST-1211005, AST-1637339, AST-1637262.« less
  7. We present sensitive HI imaging of the "Almost Dark" galaxies AGC229385 and AGC229101. Selected from the ALFALFA survey, "Almost Dark" galaxies have significant HI reservoirs but lack an obvious stellar counterpart in survey-depth ground-based optical imaging. Deeper ground- and space-based imaging reveals very low surface brightness optical counterparts in both systems. The resulting M_HI/L_B ratios are among the highest ever measured for individual galaxies. Here we combine VLA and WSRT imaging of these two systems, allowing us to preserve surface brightness sensitivity while working at high angular resolution. The resulting maps of HI mass surface density, velocity field, and velocity dispersion are compared to deep optical and ultraviolet imaging. In both systems the highest column density HI gas is clumpy and resolved into multiple components. In the case of AGC229385, the kinematics are inconsistent with a simple rotating disk and may be the result of either an infall episode or an interaction between two HI-rich disks.Support for this work was provided by NSF grant 1211683 to JMC at Macalester College.
  8. We present VLA HI imaging of the "Almost Dark" galaxies AGC 227982, AGC 268363, and AGC 219533. Selected from the ALFALFA survey, "Almost Dark" galaxies have significant HI reservoirs but lack an obvious stellar counterpart in survey-depth ground-based optical imaging. These three HI-rich objects harbor some of the most extreme levels of suppressed star formation amongst the isolated sources in the ALFALFA catalog. Our new multi-configuration, high angular (~20") and spectral (1.7 km/s) resolution HI observations produce spatially resolved column density and velocity distribution moment maps. We compare these images to Sloan Digitized Sky Survey (SDSS) optical images. By localizing the HI gas, we identify previously unknown optical components (offset from the ALFALFA pointing center) for AGC 227982 and AGC 268363, and confirm the association with a very low surface brightness stellar counterpart for AGC 219533. Baryonic masses are derived from VLA flux integral values and ALFALFA distance estimates, giving answers consistent with those derived from ALFALFA fluxes. All three sources appear to have fairly regular HI morphologies and show evidence of ordered rotation.Support for this work was provided by NSF grant 1211683 to JMC at Macalester College.
  9. The NSF-sponsored Undergraduate ALFALFA (Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA) Team (UAT) is a consortium of 20 institutions across the US and Puerto Rico, founded to promote undergraduate research and faculty development within the extragalactic ALFALFA HI blind survey project and follow-up programs. The objective of the UAT is to provide opportunities for its members to develop expertise in the technical aspects of observational radio spectroscopy, its associated data analysis, and the motivating science. Partnering with Arecibo Observatory, the UAT has worked with more than 280 undergraduates and 26 faculty to date, offering 8 workshops onsite at Arecibo (148 undergraduates), observing runs at Arecibo (69 undergraduates), remote observing runs on campus, undergraduate research projects based on Arecibo science (120 academic year and 185 summer projects), and presentation of results at national meetings such as the AAS (at AAS229: Ball et al., Collova et al., Davis et al., Miazzo et al., Ruvolo et al, Singer et al., Cannon et al., Craig et al., Koopmann et al., O'Donoghue et al.). 40% of the students and 45% of the faculty participants have been women and members of underrepresented groups. More than 90% of student alumni are attending graduate school and/or pursuing a career in STEM.more »42% of those pursuing graduate degrees in Physics or Astronomy are women.In this presentation, we summarize the UAT program and the current research efforts of UAT members based on Arecibo science, including multiwavelength followup observations of ALFALFA sources, the UAT Collaborative Groups Project, the Survey of HI in Extremely Low-mass Dwarfs (SHIELD), and the Arecibo Pisces-Perseus Supercluster Survey (APPSS). This work has been supported by NSF grants AST-0724918/0902211, AST-075267/0903394, AST-0725380, AST-121105, and AST-1637339.« less