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  1. Abstract

    The Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) has two 8.4 m primary mirrors that produce beams that can be combined coherently in a “Fizeau” interferometric mode. In principle, the Fizeau point-spread function (PSF) enables the probing of structure at a resolution up to three times better than that of the adaptive-optics-corrected PSF of a single 8.4 m telescope. In this work, we examined the nearby star Altair (5.13 pc, type A7V, hundreds of Myr to ≈1.4 Gyr) in the Fizeau mode with the LBT at Brα(4.05μm) and carried out angular differential imaging to search for companions. This work presents the first filled-aperture LBT Fizeau science data set to benefit from a correcting mirror that provides active phase control. In the analysis of theλ/Dangular regime, the sensitivity of the data set is down to ≈0.5Mat 1″ for a 1.0 Gyr system. This sensitivity remains limited by the small amount of integration time, which is in turn limited by the instability of the Fizeau PSF. However, in the Fizeau fringe regime we attain sensitivities of Δm≈ 5 at 0.″2 and put constraints on companions of 1.3Mdown to an inner angle of ≈0.″15, closer than any previously published direct imaging of Altair. This analysismore »is a pathfinder for future data sets of this type, and represents some of the first steps to unlocking the potential of the first Extremely Large Telescope. Fizeau observations will be able to reach dimmer targets with upgrades to the instrument, in particular the phase detector.

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  2. Abstract

    Radio astronomy is undergoing a renaissance, as the next generation of instruments provides a massive leap forward in collecting area and therefore raw sensitivity. However, to achieve this theoretical level of sensitivity in the science data products, we need to address the much more pernicious systematic effects, which are the true limitation. These become all the more significant when we consider that much of the time used by survey instruments, such as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), will be dedicated to deep surveys. CHILES is a deep Hisurvey of the COSMOS field, with 1000 hr of Very Large Array time. We present our approach for creating the image cubes from the first epoch, with discussions of the methods and quantification of the data quality from 946 to 1420 MHz—a redshift range of 0.5−0. We lay out the problems we had to solve and describe how we tackled them. These are important because CHILES is the first deep wide-band multiepoch Hisurvey and has relevance for ongoing and future surveys. We focus on the accumulated systematic errors in the imaging, as the goal is to deliver a high-fidelity image that is only limited by the random thermal errors. To understand andmore »correct these systematic effects, we ideally manage them in the domain in which they arise, and that is predominately the visibility domain. CHILES is a perfect test bed for many of the issues we can expect for deep imaging with the SKA or ngVLA, and we discuss the lessons we have learned.

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  3. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2024
  4. Context. Protoplanetary disks in dense, massive star-forming regions are strongly affected by their environment. How this environmental impact changes over time is an important constraint on disk evolution and external photoevaporation models. Aims. We characterize the dust emission from 179 disks in the core of the young (0.5 Myr) NGC 2024 cluster. By studying how the disk mass varies within the cluster, and comparing these disks to those in other regions, we aim to determine how external photoevaporation influences disk properties over time. Methods. Using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array, a 2.9′× 2.9′ mosaic centered on NGC 2024 FIR 3 was observed at 225 GHz with a resolution of 0.25″, or ~100 AU. The imaged region contains 179 disks identified at IR wavelengths, seven new disk candidates, and several protostars. Results. The overall detection rate of disks is 32 ± 4%. Few of the disks are resolved, with the exception of a giant ( R = 300 AU) transition disk. Serendipitously, we observe a millimeter flare from an X-ray bright young stellar object (YSO), and resolve continuum emission from a Class 0 YSO in the FIR 3 core. Two distinct disk populations are present: a more massive one in themore »east, along the dense molecular ridge hosting the FIR 1-5 YSOs, with a detection rate of 45 ± 7%. In the western population, towards IRS 1, only 15 ± 4% of disks are detected. Conclusions. NGC 2024 hosts two distinct disk populations. Disks along the dense molecular ridge are young (0.2–0.5 Myr) and partly shielded from the far ultraviolet radiation of IRS 2b; their masses are similar to isolated 1–3 Myr old SFRs. The western population is older and at lower extinctions, and may be affected by external photoevaporation from both IRS 1 and IRS 2b. However, it is possible these disks had lower masses to begin with.« less
  5. Abstract Cosmogenic radio-nuclei are an important source of background for low-energy neutrino experiments. In Borexino, cosmogenic $$^{11}$$ 11 C decays outnumber solar pep and CNO neutrino events by about ten to one. In order to extract the flux of these two neutrino species, a highly efficient identification of this background is mandatory. We present here the details of the most consolidated strategy, used throughout Borexino solar neutrino measurements. It hinges upon finding the space-time correlations between $$^{11}$$ 11 C decays, the preceding parent muons and the accompanying neutrons. This article describes the working principles and evaluates the performance of this Three-Fold Coincidence (TFC) technique in its two current implementations: a hard-cut and a likelihood-based approach. Both show stable performances throughout Borexino Phases II (2012–2016) and III (2016–2020) data sets, with a $$^{11}$$ 11 C tagging efficiency of $$\sim 90$$ ∼ 90  % and $$\sim $$ ∼  63–66 % of the exposure surviving the tagging. We present also a novel technique that targets specifically $$^{11}$$ 11 C produced in high-multiplicity during major spallation events. Such $$^{11}$$ 11 C appear as a burst of events, whose space-time correlation can be exploited. Burst identification can be combined with the TFC to obtain about themore »same tagging efficiency of $$\sim 90\%$$ ∼ 90 % but with a higher fraction of the exposure surviving, in the range of $$\sim $$ ∼  66–68 %.« less