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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 31, 2024
  2. Abstract

    We have discovered the stellar counterpart to the ALFALFA Virgo 7 cloud complex, which has been thought to be optically dark and nearly star-free since its discovery in 2007. This ∼190 kpc long chain of enormous atomic gas clouds (MHi∼ 109M) is embedded in the hot intracluster medium of the Virgo galaxy cluster but is isolated from any galaxy. Its faint, blue stellar counterpart, BC6, was identified in a visual search of archival optical and UV imaging. Follow-up observations with the Green Bank Telescope, Hobby–Eberly Telescope, and Hubble Space Telescope demonstrate that this faint counterpart is at the same velocity as the atomic gas, actively forming stars, and metal-rich (12 + (O/H) = 8.58 ± 0.25). We estimate its stellar mass to be onlylog(M*/M)4.4, making it one of the most gas-rich stellar systems known. Aside from its extraordinary gas content, the properties of BC6 are entirely consistent with those of a recently identified class of young, low-mass, isolated, and star-forming clouds in Virgo that appear to have formed via extreme ram pressure stripping events. We expand the existing discussion of the origin of this structure and suggest NGC 4522 as a likely candidate; however, the current evidence is not fully consistent with any of our proposed progenitor galaxies. We anticipate that other “dark” gas clouds in Virgo may have similarly faint, star-forming counterparts. We aim to identify these through the help of a citizen science search of the entire cluster.

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  3. Abstract

    We have imaged the entirety of eight (plus one partial) Milky Way (MW)–like satellite systems, a total of 42 (45) satellites, from the Satellites Around Galactic Analogs II catalog in both Hαand Hiwith the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope and the Jansky Very Large Array. In these eight systems we have identified four cases where a satellite appears to be currently undergoing ram pressure stripping (RPS) as its Higas collides with the circumgalactic medium (CGM) of its host. We also see a clear suppression of gas fraction (MHI/M*) with decreasing (projected) satellite–host separation—to our knowledge, the first time this has been observed in a sample of MW-like systems. Comparisons to the Auriga, A Project Of Simulating The Local Environment, and TNG50 cosmological zoom-in simulations show consistent global behavior, but they systematically underpredict gas fractions across all satellites by roughly 0.5 dex. Using a simplistic RPS model, we estimate the average peak CGM density that satellites in these systems have encountered to belogρcgm/gcm327.3. Furthermore, we see tentative evidence that these satellites are following a specific star formation rate to gas fraction relation that is distinct from field galaxies. Finally, we detect one new gas-rich satellite in the UGC 903 system with an optical size and surface brightness meeting the standard criteria to be considered an ultra-diffuse galaxy.

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  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  5. Abstract

    We have conducted a systematic search around the Milky Way (MW) analog NGC 253 (D= 3.5 Mpc), as a part of the Panoramic Imaging Survey of Centaurus and Sculptor (PISCeS)—a Magellan+Megacam survey to identify dwarfs and other substructures in resolved stellar light around MW-mass galaxies outside of the Local Group. In total, NGC 253 has five satellites identified by PISCeS within 100 kpc with an absoluteV-band magnitude ofMV< −7. We have additionally obtained deep Hubble Space Telescope imaging of four reported candidates beyond the survey footprint: Do III, Do IV, and dw0036m2828 are confirmed to be satellites of NGC 253, while SculptorSR is found to be a background galaxy. We find no convincing evidence for the presence of a plane of satellites surrounding NGC 253. We construct its satellite luminosity function, which is complete down toMV≲ −8 out to 100 kpc andMV≲ −9 out to 300 kpc, and compare it to those calculated for other Local Volume galaxies. Exploring trends in satellite counts and star-forming fractions among satellite systems, we find relationships with host stellar mass, environment, and morphology, pointing to a complex picture of satellite formation, and a successful model has to reproduce all of these trends.

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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 1, 2024
  7. Abstract

    Modeling the integrated Hispectra of galaxies has been a difficult task, due to their diverse shapes, but more dynamical information is waiting to be explored in Hiline profiles. Based on simple assumptions, we construct a physically motivated model for the integrated Hispectra: Parameterized Asymmetric Neutral hydrogen Disk Integrated Spectrum Characterization (PANDISC). The model shows great flexibility in reproducing the diverse Hiprofiles. We use Monte Carlo Markov Chain for fitting the model to global Hiprofiles and produce statistically robust quantitative results. Comparing with several samples of Hidata available in the literature, we find the model-fitted widths agree with cataloged velocity widths (e.g.,W50) down to S/N ≲ 6. While dynamical information can only be extracted reliably from spectra with S/N > 8. The model is also shown to be useful for applications like the baryonic Tully–Fisher relation (BTFR) and profile-based sample control. By comparing the model parametervrtovflat, we uncover how the Hiwidth is affected by the structure of the rotation curve, following a trend consistent with the difference in the BTFR slope. We also select a sample of spectra with broad wing-like features suggestive of a population of galaxies with unusual gas dynamics. The PANDISC model bears both promise and limitations for potential use beyond Hilines. Further application on the whole ALFALFA sample will enable us to perform large-scale ensemble studies of the Hiproperties and dynamics in nearby galaxies.

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  8. DNA duplex stability arises from cooperative interactions between multiple adjacent nucleotides that favor base pairing and stacking when formed as a continuous stretch rather than individually. Lesions and nucleobase modifications alter this stability in complex manners that remain challenging to understand despite their centrality to biology. Here, we investigate how an abasic site destabilizes small DNA duplexes and reshapes base pairing dynamics and hybridization pathways using temperature-jump infrared spectroscopy and coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulations. We show how an abasic site splits the cooperativity in a short duplex into two segments, which destabilizes small duplexes as a whole and enables metastable half-dissociated configurations. Dynamically, it introduces an additional barrier to hybridization by constraining the hybridization mechanism to a step-wise process of nucleating and zipping a stretch on one side of the abasic site and then the other. 
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  9. Abstract

    We report the discovery of Pavo, a faint (MV= −10.0), star-forming, irregular, and extremely isolated dwarf galaxy atD≈ 2 Mpc. Pavo was identified in Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey imaging via a novel approach that combines low surface brightness galaxy search algorithms and machine-learning candidate classifications. Follow-up imaging with the Inamori-Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph on the 6.5 m Magellan Baade telescope revealed a color–magnitude diagram (CMD) with an old stellar population, in addition to the young population that dominates the integrated light, and a tip of the red giant branch distance estimate of1.990.22+0.20Mpc. The blue population of stars in the CMD is consistent with the youngest stars having formed no later than 150 Myr ago. We also detected no Hαemission with SOAR telescope imaging, suggesting that we may be witnessing a temporary low in Pavo’s star formation. We estimate the total stellar mass of Pavo to belogM*/M=5.6±0.2and measure an upper limit on its Higas mass of 1.0 × 106Mbased on the HIPASS survey. Given these properties, Pavo’s closest analog is Leo P (D= 1.6 Mpc), previously the only known isolated, star-forming, Local Volume dwarf galaxy in this mass range. However, Pavo appears to be even more isolated, with no other known galaxy residing within over 600 kpc. As surveys and search techniques continue to improve, we anticipate an entire population of analogous objects being detected just outside the Local Group.

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    We study the relative fractions of quenched and star-forming satellite galaxies in the Satellites Around Galactic Analogs (SAGA) survey and Exploration of Local VolumE Satellites (ELVES) program, two nearby and complementary samples of Milky Way-like galaxies that take different approaches to identify faint satellite galaxy populations. We cross-check and validate sample cuts and selection criteria, as well as explore the effects of different star-formation definitions when determining the quenched satellite fraction of Milky Way analogues. We find the mean ELVES quenched fraction (〈QF〉), derived using a specific star formation rate (sSFR) threshold, decreases from ∼50 per cent to ∼27 per cent after applying a cut in absolute magnitude to match that of the SAGA survey (〈QF〉SAGA ∼9 per cent). We show these results are consistent for alternative star-formation definitions. Furthermore, these quenched fractions remain virtually unchanged after applying an additional cut in surface brightness. Using a consistently derived sSFR and absolute magnitude limit for both samples, we show that the quenched fraction and the cumulative number of satellites in the ELVES and SAGA samples broadly agree. We briefly explore radial trends in the ELVES and SAGA samples, finding general agreement in the number of star-forming satellites per host as a function of radius. Despite the broad agreement between the ELVES and SAGA samples, some tension remains with these quenched fractions in comparison to the Local Group and simulations of Milky Way analogues.

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