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    The HST treasury programme BUFFALO provides extended wide-field imaging of the six Hubble Frontier Fields galaxy clusters. Here we present the combined strong and weak-lensing analysis of Abell 370, a massive cluster at z = 0.375. From the reconstructed total projected mass distribution in the 6 arcmin × 6 arcmin BUFFALO field-of-view, we obtain the distribution of massive substructures outside the cluster core and report the presence of a total of seven candidates, each with mass ∼5 × 1013 M⊙. Combining the total mass distribution derived from lensing with multiwavelength data, we evaluate the physical significance of each candidate substructure, and conclude that five out of the seven substructure candidates seem reliable, and that the mass distribution in Abell 370 is extended along the north-west and south-east directions. While this finding is in general agreement with previous studies, our detailed spatial reconstruction provides new insights into the complex mass distribution at large cluster-centric radius. We explore the impact of the extended mass reconstruction on the model of the cluster core and in particular, we attempt to physically explain the presence of an important external shear component, necessary to obtain a low root-mean-square separation between the model-predicted and observed positions of the multiple images in the cluster core. The substructures can only account for up to half the amplitude of the external shear, suggesting that more effort is needed to fully replace it by more physically motivated mass components. We provide public access to all the lensing data used as well as the different lens models.

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  2. Outside-knowledge visual question answering (OKVQA) requires the agent to comprehend the image, make use of relevant knowledge from the entire web, and digest all the information to answer the question. Most previous works address the problem by first fusing the image and question in the multi-modal space, which is inflexible for further fusion with a vast amount of external knowledge. In this paper, we call for an alternative paradigm for the OK-VQA task, which transforms the image into plain text, so that we can enable knowledge passage retrieval, and generative question-answering in the natural language space. This paradigm takes advantage of the sheer volume of gigantic knowledge bases and the richness of pretrained language models. A Transform-Retrieve-Generate framework (TRiG) framework is proposed, which can be plug-and-played with alternative image-to-text models and textual knowledge bases. Experimental results show that our TRiG framework outperforms all state-of-the-art supervised methods by at least 11.1% absolute margin. 
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  3. Abstract

    The Australian, Chinese, European, Indian, and North American pulsar timing array (PTA) collaborations recently reported, at varying levels, evidence for the presence of a nanohertz gravitational-wave background (GWB). Given that each PTA made different choices in modeling their data, we perform a comparison of the GWB and individual pulsar noise parameters across the results reported from the PTAs that constitute the International Pulsar Timing Array (IPTA). We show that despite making different modeling choices, there is no significant difference in the GWB parameters that are measured by the different PTAs, agreeing within 1σ. The pulsar noise parameters are also consistent between different PTAs for the majority of the pulsars included in these analyses. We bridge the differences in modeling choices by adopting a standardized noise model for all pulsars and PTAs, finding that under this model there is a reduction in the tension in the pulsar noise parameters. As part of this reanalysis, we “extended” each PTA’s data set by adding extra pulsars that were not timed by that PTA. Under these extensions, we find better constraints on the GWB amplitude and a higher signal-to-noise ratio for the Hellings–Downs correlations. These extensions serve as a prelude to the benefits offered by a full combination of data across all pulsars in the IPTA, i.e., the IPTA’s Data Release 3, which will involve not just adding in additional pulsars but also including data from all three PTAs where any given pulsar is timed by more than a single PTA.

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    We present a gravitational lensing and X-ray analysis of a massive galaxy cluster and its surroundings. The core of MACS J0717.5+3745 ($M(R\lt 1\, {\rm Mpc})\sim$ $2 \times 10^{15}\, \, {\rm M}_{\odot }$, $z$ = 0.54) is already known to contain four merging components. We show that this is surrounded by at least seven additional substructures with masses ranging $3.8{-}6.5\times 10^{13}\, \, {\rm M}_{\odot }$, at projected radii 1.6–4.9 Mpc. We compare MACS J0717 to mock lensing and X-ray observations of similarly rich clusters in cosmological simulations. The low gas fraction of substructures predicted by simulations turns out to match our observed values of 1–$4{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. Comparing our data to three similar simulated haloes, we infer a typical growth rate and substructure infall velocity. That suggests MACS J0717 could evolve into a system similar to, but more massive than, Abell 2744 by $z$ = 0.31, and into a ∼ $10^{16}\, \, {\rm M}_{\odot }$ supercluster by $z$ = 0. The radial distribution of infalling substructure suggests that merger events are strongly episodic; however, we find that the smooth accretion of surrounding material remains the main source of mass growth even for such massive clusters.

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