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Creators/Authors contains: "Rich, Jeffrey"

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  1. Abstract

    We have used the Mid-InfraRed Instrument (MIRI) on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) to obtain the first spatially resolved, mid-infrared images ofIIZw096, a merging luminous infrared galaxy (LIRG) atz= 0.036. Previous observations with the Spitzer Space Telescope suggested that the vast majority of the total IR luminosity (LIR) of the system originated from a small region outside of the two merging nuclei. New observations with JWST/MIRI now allow an accurate measurement of the location and luminosity density of the source that is responsible for the bulk of the IR emission. We estimate that 40%–70% of the IR bolometric luminosity, or 3–5 × 1011L, arises from a source no larger than 175 pc in radius, suggesting a luminosity density of at least 3–5 × 1012Lkpc−2. In addition, we detect 11 other star-forming sources, five of which were previously unknown. The MIRI F1500W/F560W colors of most of these sources, including the source responsible for the bulk of the far-IR emission, are much redder than the nuclei of local LIRGs. These observations reveal the power of JWST to disentangle the complex regions at the hearts of merging, dusty galaxies.

  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 1, 2023
  3. Abstract

    We study the ionization and excitation structure of the interstellar medium in the late-stage gas-rich galaxy merger NGC 6240 using a suite of emission-line maps at ∼25 pc resolution from the Hubble Space Telescope, Keck/NIRC2 with Adaptive Optics, and the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA). NGC 6240 hosts a superwind driven by intense star formation and/or one or both of two active nuclei; the outflows produce bubbles and filaments seen in shock tracers from warm molecular gas (H22.12μm) to optical ionized gas ([Oiii], [Nii], [Sii], and [Oi]) and hot plasma (FeXXV). In the most distinct bubble, we see a clear shock front traced by high [Oiii]/Hβand [Oiii]/[Oi]. Cool molecular gas (CO(2−1)) is only present near the base of the bubble, toward the nuclei launching the outflow. We interpret the lack of molecular gas outside the bubble to mean that the shock front is not responsible for dissociating molecular gas, and conclude that the molecular clouds are partly shielded and either entrained briefly in the outflow, or left undisturbed while the hot wind flows around them. Elsewhere in the galaxy, shock-excited H2extends at least ∼4 kpc from the nuclei, tracing molecular gas even warmer than that between the nuclei, wheremore »the two galaxies’ interstellar media are colliding. A ridgeline of high [Oiii]/Hβemission along the eastern arm aligns with the southern nucleus’ stellar disk minor axis; optical integral field spectroscopy from WiFeS suggests this highly ionized gas is centered at systemic velocity and likely photoionized by direct line of sight to the southern active galactic nucleus.

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  4. ABSTRACT

    RR Lyrae stars have long been popular standard candles, but significant advances in methodology and technology have been made in recent years to increase their precision as distance indicators. We present multiwavelength (optical UBVRcIc and Gaia G, BP, RP; near-infrared JHKs; mid-infrared [3.6], [4.5]) period–luminosity–metallicity (PLZ), period–Wesenheit–metallicity (PWZ) relations, calibrated using photometry obtained from the Carnegie RR Lyrae Program and parallaxes from the Gaia second data release for 55 Galactic field RR Lyrae stars. The metallicity slope, which has long been predicted by theoretical relations, can now be measured in all passbands. The scatter in the PLZ relations is on the order of 0.2 mag, and is still dominated by uncertainties in the parallaxes. As a consistency check of our PLZ relations, we also measure the distance modulus to the globular cluster M4, the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Small Magellanic Cloud, and our results are in excellent agreement with estimates from previous studies.