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  1. Abstract We report the discovery of six ultra-faint Milky Way satellites identified through matched-filter searches conducted using Dark Energy Camera (DECam) data processed as part of the second data release of the DECam Local Volume Exploration (DELVE) survey. Leveraging deep Gemini/GMOS-N imaging (for four candidates) as well as follow-up DECam imaging (for two candidates), we characterize the morphologies and stellar populations of these systems. We find that these candidates all share faint absolute magnitudes ( M V ≥ −3.2 mag) and old, metal-poor stellar populations ( τ > 10 Gyr, [Fe/H] < −1.4 dex). Three of these systems are more extended ( r 1/2 > 15 pc), while the other three are compact ( r 1/2 < 10 pc). From these properties, we infer that the former three systems (Boötes V, Leo Minor I, and Virgo II) are consistent with ultra-faint dwarf galaxy classifications, whereas the latter three (DELVE 3, DELVE 4, and DELVE 5) are likely ultra-faint star clusters. Using data from the Gaia satellite, we confidently measure the proper motion of Boötes V, Leo Minor I, and DELVE 4, and tentatively detect a proper-motion signal from DELVE 3 and DELVE 5; no signal is detected for Virgo II. We use these measurements to explore possible associations between the newly discovered systems and the Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal, the Magellanic Clouds, and the Vast Polar Structure, finding several plausible associations. Our results offer a preview of the numerous ultra-faint stellar systems that will soon be discovered by the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and highlight the challenges of classifying the faintest stellar systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 28, 2024
  2. Abstract

    We report the methods of and initial scientific inferences from the extraction of precision photometric information for the >800 trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs) discovered in the images of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). Scene-modeling photometry is used to obtain shot-noise-limited flux measures for each exposure of each TNO, with background sources subtracted. Comparison of double-source fits to the pixel data with single-source fits are used to identify and characterize two binary TNO systems. A Markov Chain Monte Carlo method samples the joint likelihood of the intrinsic colors of each source as well as the amplitude of its flux variation, given the time series of multiband flux measurements and their uncertainties. A catalog of these colors and light-curve amplitudesAis included with this publication. We show how to assign a likelihood to the distributionq(A) of light-curve amplitudes in any subpopulation. Using this method, we find decisive evidence (i.e., evidence ratio <0.01) that cold classical (CC) TNOs with absolute magnitude 6 <Hr< 8.2 are more variable than the hot classical (HC) population of the sameHr, reinforcing theories that the former form in situ and the latter arise from a different physical population. Resonant and scattering TNOs in thisHrrange have variability consistent with either the HCs or CCs. DES TNOs withHr< 6 are seen to be decisively less variable than higher-Hrmembers of any dynamical group, as expected. More surprising is that detached TNOs are decisively less variable than scattering TNOs, which requires them to have distinct source regions or some subsequent differential processing.

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  3. ABSTRACT We use the SMASH survey to obtain unprecedented deep photometry reaching down to the oldest main-sequence turn-offs in the colour–magnitude diagrams (CMDs) of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) and quantitatively derive its star formation history (SFH) using CMD fitting techniques. We identify five distinctive peaks of star formation in the last 3.5 Gyr, at ∼3, ∼2, ∼1.1, ∼0.45 Gyr ago, and one presently. We compare these to the SFH of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), finding unequivocal synchronicity, with both galaxies displaying similar periods of enhanced star formation over the past ∼3.5 Gyr. The parallelism between their SFHs indicates that tidal interactions between the MCs have recurrently played an important role in their evolution for at least the last ∼3.5 Gyr, tidally truncating the SMC and shaping the LMC’s spiral arm. We show, for the first time, an SMC–LMC correlated SFH at recent times in which enhancements of star formation are localized in the northern spiral arm of the LMC, and globally across the SMC. These novel findings should be used to constrain not only the orbital history of the MCs but also how star formation should be treated in simulations. 
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    The correlation between the broad line region radius and continuum luminosity (R–L relation) of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) is critical for single-epoch mass estimates of supermassive black holes (SMBHs). At z ∼ 1–2, where AGN activity peaks, the R–L relation is constrained by the reverberation mapping (RM) lags of the Mg ii line. We present 25 Mg ii lags from the Australian Dark Energy Survey RM project based on 6 yr of monitoring. We define quantitative criteria to select good lag measurements and verify their reliability with simulations based on both the damped random walk stochastic model and the rescaled, resampled versions of the observed light curves of local, well-measured AGN. Our sample significantly increases the number of Mg ii lags and extends the R–L relation to higher redshifts and luminosities. The relative iron line strength $\mathcal {R}_{\rm Fe}$ has little impact on the R–L relation. The best-fitting Mg iiR–L relation has a slope α = 0.39 ± 0.08 with an intrinsic scatter $\sigma _{\rm rl} = 0.15^{+0.03}_{-0.02}$ . The slope is consistent with previous measurements and shallower than the H β R–L relation. The intrinsic scatter of the new R–L relation is substantially smaller than previous studies and comparable to the intrinsic scatter of the H β R–L relation. Our new R–L relation will enable more precise single-epoch mass estimates and SMBH demographic studies at cosmic noon.

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  5. Abstract We report the detection of three RR Lyrae (RRL) stars (two RRc and one RRab) in the ultra-faint dwarf (UFD) galaxy Centaurus I (Cen I) and two Milky Way (MW) δ Scuti/SX Phoenicis stars based on multi-epoch giz DECam observations. The two RRc stars are located within two times the half-light radius ( r h ) of Cen I, while the RRab star (CenI-V3) is at ∼6 r h . The presence of three distant RRL stars clustered this tightly in space represents a 4.7 σ excess relative to the smooth distribution of RRL in the Galactic halo. Using the newly detected RRL stars, we obtain a distance modulus to Cen I of μ 0 = 20.354 ± 0.002 mag ( σ = 0.03 mag), a heliocentric distance of D ⊙ = 117.7 ± 0.1 kpc ( σ = 1.6 kpc), with systematic errors of 0.07 mag and 4 kpc. The location of the Cen I RRL stars in the Bailey diagram is in agreement with other UFD galaxies (mainly Oosterhoff II). Finally, we study the relative rate of RRc+RRd (RRcd) stars ( f cd ) in UFD and classical dwarf galaxies. The full sample of MW dwarf galaxies gives a mean of f cd = 0.28. While several UFD galaxies, such as Cen I, present higher RRcd ratios, if we combine the RRL populations of all UFD galaxies, the RRcd ratio is similar to the one obtained for the classical dwarfs ( f cd ∼ 0.3). Therefore, there is no evidence for a different fraction of RRcd stars in UFD and classical dwarf galaxies. 
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  6. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 20, 2024
  7. null (Ed.)
  8. Abstract

    The Jupiter Trojans are a large group of asteroids that are coorbiting with Jupiter near its L4 and L5 Lagrange points. The study of Jupiter Trojans is crucial for testing different models of planet formation that are directly related to our understanding of solar system evolution. In this work, we select known Jupiter Trojans listed by the Minor Planet Center from the full six years data set (Y6) of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) to analyze their photometric properties. The DES data allow us to study Jupiter Trojans with a fainter magnitude limit than previous studies in a homogeneous survey withgrizband measurements. We extract a final catalog of 573 unique Jupiter Trojans. Our sample include 547 asteroids belonging to L5. This is one of the largest analyzed samples for this group. By comparing with the data reported by other surveys we found that the color distribution of L5 Trojans is similar to that of L4 Trojans. We find that L5 Trojans’giandgrcolors become less red with fainter absolute magnitudes, a trend also seen in L4 Trojans. Both the L4 and L5 clouds consistently show such a color–size correlation over an absolute magnitude range 11 <H< 18. We also use DES colors to perform taxonomic classifications. C- and P-type asteroids outnumber D-type asteroids in the L5 Trojans DES sample, which have diameters in the 5–20 km range. This is consistent with the color–size correlation.

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  9. The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is the closest and most studied example of an irregular galaxy. Among its principal defining morphological features, its off-centred bar and single spiral arm stand out, defining a whole family of galaxies known as the Magellanic spirals (Sm). These structures are thought to be triggered by tidal interactions and possibly maintained via gas accretion. However, it is still unknown whether they are long-lived stable structures. In this work, by combining photometry that reaches down to the oldest main sequence turn-off in the colour-magnitude diagrams (CMD, up to a distance of ∼4.4 kpc from the LMC centre) from the SMASH survey and CMD fitting techniques, we find compelling evidence supporting the long-term stability of the LMC spiral arm, dating the origin of this structure to more than 2 Gyr ago. The evidence suggests that the close encounter between the LMC and the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) that produced the gaseous Magellanic Stream and its Leading Arm also triggered the formation of the LMC’s spiral arm. Given the mass difference between the Clouds and the notable consequences of this interaction, we can speculate that this should have been one of their closest encounters. These results set important constraints on the timing of LMC-SMC collisions, as well as on the physics behind star formation induced by tidal encounters. 
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