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Prediction of the Ionospheric Response to the 14 December 2020 Total Solar Eclipse Using SUPIM-INPE

We present the first prediction of the ionospheric response to the 14 December 2020 solar eclipse using the SUPIM-INPE model. Simulations are made for all known ionosonde stations for which solar obscuration is significant. The found response is similar to that previously reported for other eclipses, but it also shows a modification of the equatorial fountain transport that will impact the low latitudes after the event. In addition to the large reduction of electron concentration along the totality path (~4.5 TECu, ~22%), a significant electron and oxygen ion temperature cooling is observed (up to ~400 K) followed by lasting temperature increases. Changes of up to ~1.5 TECu (~5%) are also expected at the conjugate hemisphere. These predictions may serve as a reference for eventual ionospheric measurements of multiple instruments and are leading to a better understanding of the ionospheric response to solar eclipses.

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Performance evaluation of the particle swarm optimization algorithm to unambiguously estimate plasma parameters from incoherent scatter radar signals

Simultaneously estimating plasma parameters of the ionosphere presents a problem for the incoherent scatter radar (ISR) technique at altitudes between ~ 130 and ~ 300 km. Different mixtures of ion concentrations and temperatures generate almost identical backscattered signals, hindering the discrimination between plasma parameters. This temperature–ion composition ambiguity problem is commonly solved either by using models of ionospheric parameters or by the addition of parameters determined from the plasma line of the radar. Some studies demonstrated that it is also possible to unambiguously estimate ISR signals with very low signal fluctuation using the most frequently used non-linear least squares (NLLS) fitting algorithm. In a previous study, the unambiguous estimation performance of the particle swarm optimization (PSO) algorithm was evaluated, outperforming the standard NLLS algorithm fitting signals with very small fluctuations. Nevertheless, this study considered a confined search range of plasma parameters assuming a priori knowledge of the behavior of the ion composition and signals with very large SNR obtained at the Arecibo Observatory, which are not commonly feasible at other ISR facilities worldwide. In the present study, we conduct Monte Carlo simulations of PSO fittings to evaluate the performance of this algorithm at different signal fluctuation levels. We also determine the effect of adding different combinations of parameters known from the plasma line, different search ranges, and internal configurations of PSO parameters. Results suggest that similar performances are obtained by PSO and NLLS algorithms, but PSO has much larger computational requirements. The PSO algorithm obtains much lower convergences when no a priori information is provided. The a priori knowledge of Ne and Te/Ti parameters shows better convergences and “correct” estimations. Also, results demonstrate that the addition of Ne and Te parameters provides the most information to solve the ambiguity problem using both optimization algorithms.

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First Report of an Eclipse From Chilean Ionosonde Observations: Comparison With Total Electron Content Estimations and the Modeled Maximum Electron Concentration and Its Height

The ionospheric responses to the total solar eclipse on 2 July 2019 over low latitudes in southern South America are presented. Ionosonde observations were used within the totality path at La Serena (LS: 29.9°S, 71.3°W) and at Tucumán (TU: 26.9°S, 65.4°W) and Jicamarca (JI: 12.0°S, 76.8°W), with 85% and 52% obscuration, respectively. Total electron content (TEC) estimations over the South American continent were analyzed. The ionospheric impact of the eclipse was simulated using the Sheffield University Plasmasphere-Ionosphere Model (SUPIM) at the Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). The significant variability of the diurnal variations of the various ionospheric characteristics over equatorial and low latitudes on geomagnetically quiet days makes it difficult to unambiguously determine the ionospheric responses to the eclipse. Nonetheless, some specific issues can be derived, mainly using simulation results. The E and F1 layer critical frequencies and densities below 200 km are found to consistently depend on decreasing solar radiation. However, the F1 layer stratification observed at both TU and LS cannot be related to the eclipse or other processes. The F2 layer does not follow the changes in direct solar radiation during the eclipse. The SUPIM-INPE-modeled F region critical frequency and TEC are overestimated before the eclipse at LS and particularly at TU. However, these overestimations are within the observed large day-to-day variability. When an artificial prereversal enhancement is added, the simulations during the eclipse better reproduce the observations at JI, are qualitatively better for LS, and are out of phase for TU. The simulations are consistent with conjugate location effects.

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Twenty years of precipitable water vapor measurements in the Chajnantor area

Context. Interest in the use of the Chajnantor area for millimeter and submillimeter astronomy is increasing because of its excellent atmospheric conditions. Knowing the general site annual variability in precipitable water vapor (PWV) can contribute to the planning of new observatories in the area.

Aims. We seek to create a 20-year atmospheric database (1997−2017) for the Chajnantor area in northern Chile using a single common physical unit, PWV. We plan to extract weather relations between the Chajnantor Plateau and the summit of Cerro Chajnantor to evaluate potential sensitivity improvements for telescopes fielded in the higher site. We aim to validate the use of submillimeter tippers to be used at other sites and use the PWV database to detect a potential signature for local climate change over 20 years.

Methods. We revised our method to convert from submillimeter tipper opacity to PWV. We now include the ground temperature as an input parameter to the conversion scheme and, therefore, achieve a higher conversion accuracy.

Reults. We found a decrease in the measured PWV at the summit of Cerro Chajnantor with respect to the plateau of 28%. In addition, we found a PWV difference of 1.9% with only 27 m of altitude difference between two sites in the Chajnantor Plateau: the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment and the Cosmic Background Imager near the Atacama Large Millimeter Array center. This difference is possibly due to local topographic conditions that favor the discrepancy in PWV. The scale height for the plateau was extracted from the measurements of the plateau and the Cerro Chajnantor summit, giving a value of 1537 m. Considering the results obtained in this work from the long-term study, we do not see evidence of PWV trends in the 20-year period of the analysis that would suggest climate change in such a timescale.

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Testing two-component models on very high-energy gamma-ray-emitting BL Lac objects

Context. It has become evident that one-zone synchrotron self-Compton models are not always adequate for very high-energy (VHE) gamma-ray-emitting blazars. While two-component models perform better, they are difficult to constrain due to the large number of free parameters.

Aims. In this work, we make a first attempt at taking into account the observational constraints from very long baseline interferometry (VLBI) data, long-term light curves (radio, optical, and X-rays), and optical polarisation to limit the parameter space for a two-component model and test whether or not it can still reproduce the observed spectral energy distribution (SED) of the blazars.

Methods. We selected five TeV BL Lac objects based on the availability of VHE gamma-ray and optical polarisation data. We collected constraints for the jet parameters from VLBI observations. We evaluated the contributions of the two components to the optical flux by means of decomposition of long-term radio and optical light curves as well as modelling of the optical polarisation variability of the objects. We selected eight epochs for these five objects based on the variability observed at VHE gamma rays, for which we constructed the SEDs that we then modelled with a two-component model.

Results. We found parameter sets which can reproduce the broadband SED of the sources in the framework of two-component models considering all available observational constraints from VLBI observations. Moreover, the constraints obtained from the long-term behaviour of the sources in the lower energy bands could be used to determine the region where the emission in each band originates. Finally, we attempt to use optical polarisation data to shed new light on the behaviour of the two components in the optical band. Our observationally constrained two-component model allows explanation of the entire SED from radio to VHE with two co-located emission regions.

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UV and NIR size of the low-mass field galaxies: the UV compact galaxies

Context. Most of the massive star-forming galaxies are found to have “inside-out” stellar mass growth modes, which means the inner parts of the galaxies mainly consist of the older stellar population, while the star forming in the outskirt of the galaxy is still ongoing.

Aims. The high-resolution HST images from Hubble Deep UV Legacy Survey and Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey projects with the unprecedented depth in both F275W and F160W bands are the perfect data sets to study the forming and formed stellar distribution directly.

Methods. We selected the low redshift (0.05 <  zspec <  0.3) galaxy sample from the GOODS-North field where the HST F275W and F160W images are available. Then we measured the half light radius in F275W and F160W bands, which are the indicators of the star formation and stellar mass.

Results. By comparing the F275W and F160W half light radius, we find the massive galaxies are mainly follow the “inside-out” growth mode, which is consistent with the previous results. Moreover, the HST F275W and F160W images reveal that some of the low-mass galaxies (< 108M) have the “outside-in” growth mode: their images show a compact UV morphology, implying an ongoing star formation in the galaxy centre, while the stars in the outskirts of the galaxies are already formed. The two modes transit smoothly at stellar mass range about 108 − 9M with a large scatter. We also try to identify the possible neighbour massive galaxies from the SDSS data, which represent the massive galaxy sample. We find that all of the spec-z selected galaxies have no massive galaxy nearby. Thus the “outside-in” mode we find in the low-mass galaxies are not likely originated from the environment.

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Cosmic evolution of molecular gas mass density from an empirical relationship between L1.4 GHz and L′CO

Historically, GHz radio emission has been used extensively to characterize the star-formation activity in galaxies. In this work, we look for empirical relationships amongst the radio luminosity, the infrared luminosity, and the CO-based molecular gas mass. We assemble a sample of 278 nearby galaxies with measurements of radio continuum and total infrared emission, and the 12CO J = 1–0 emission line. We find a correlation between the radio continuum and the CO emission line (with a scatter of 0.36 dex), in a large sample of different kinds of galaxies. Making use of this correlation, we explore the evolution of the molecular gas mass function and the cosmological molecular gas mass density in six redshift bins up to z = 1.5. These results agree with previous semi-analytic predictions and direct measurements: the cosmic molecular gas density increases up to z = 1.5. In addition, we find a single plane across five orders of magnitude for the explored luminosities, with a scatter of 0.27 dex. These correlations are sufficiently robust to be used for samples where no CO measurements exist.

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The atomic gas of star-forming galaxies at z ∼ 0.05 as revealed by the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope

Context. We report new HI observations of four z 0.05 VALES galaxies undertaken during the commissioning phase of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (FAST).

Aims. FAST is the largest single-dish telescope in the world, with a 500 m aperture and a 19-Beam receiver. Exploiting the unprecedented sensitivity provided by FAST, we aim to study the atomic gas content, via the HI 21 cm emission line, in low-z star formation galaxies taken from the Valparaíso ALMA/APEX Line Emission Survey (VALES). Together with previous Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) CO(J = 1−0) observations, the HI data provides crucial information to measure the gas mass and dynamics.

Methods. As a pilot HI galaxy survey, we targeted four local star-forming galaxies at z 0.05. In particular, one of them has already been detected in HI by the Arecibo Legacy Fast ALFA survey (ALFALFA), allowing a careful comparison. We use an ON-OFF observing approach that allowed us to reach an rms of 0.7 mJy beam−1 at a 1.7 km s−1 velocity resolution within only 20 min ON-target integration time.

Results. In this Letter, we demonstrate the extraordinary capability of the FAST 19-beam receiver to push the detectability of the HI emission line of extra-galactic sources. The HI emission line detected by FAST shows good consistency with the previous Arecibo telescope ALFALFA results. Our observations are put into context with previous multi-wavelength data to reveal the physical properties of these low-z galaxies. We find that the CO(J = 1−0) and HI emission line profiles are similar. The dynamical mass estimated from the HI data is an order of magnitude higher than the baryon mass and the dynamical mass derived from the CO observations, implying that the mass probed by dynamics of HI is dominated by the dark matter halo. In one case, a target shows an excess of CO(J = 1−0) in the line centre, which can be explained by an enhanced CO(J = 1−0) emission induced by a nuclear starburst showing high-velocity dispersion.

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Investigating the multiwavelength behaviour of the flat spectrum radio quasar CTA 102 during 2013–2017

We present a multiwavelength study of the flat-spectrum radio quasar CTA 102 during 2013–2017. We use radio-to-optical data obtained by the Whole Earth Blazar Telescope, 15 GHz data from the Owens Valley Radio Observatory, 91 and 103 GHz data from the Atacama Large Millimeter Array, near-infrared data from the Rapid Eye Monitor telescope, as well as data from the Swift (optical-UV and X-rays) and Fermi (γ-rays) satellites to study flux and spectral variability and the correlation between flux changes at different wavelengths. Unprecedented γ-ray flaring activity was observed during 2016 November–2017 February, with four major outbursts. A peak flux of (2158 ± 63) × 10−8 ph cm−2 s−1, corresponding to a luminosity of (2.2 ± 0.1) × 1050 erg s−1, was reached on 2016 December 28. These four γ-ray outbursts have corresponding events in the near-infrared, optical, and UV bands, with the peaks observed at the same time. A general agreement between X-ray and γ-ray activity is found. The γ-ray flux variations show a general, strong correlation with the optical ones with no time lag between the two bands and a comparable variability amplitude. This γ-ray/optical relationship is in agreement with the geometrical model that has successfully explained the low-energy flux and spectral behaviour, suggesting that the long-term flux variations are mainly due to changes in the Doppler factor produced by variations of the viewing angle of the emitting regions. The difference in behaviour between radio and higher energy emission would be ascribed to different viewing angles of the jet regions producing their emission.

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Two-year Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS) Observations: A Measurement of Circular Polarization at 40 GHz

We report measurements of circular polarization from the first two years of observation with the 40 GHz polarimeter of the Cosmology Large Angular Scale Surveyor (CLASS). CLASS is conducting a multi-frequency survey covering 75% of the sky from the Atacama Desert designed to measure the cosmic microwave background (CMB) linear E and B polarization on angular scales 1°  θ ≤ 90°, corresponding to a multipole range of 2 ≤   200. The modulation technology enabling measurements of linear polarization at the largest angular scales from the ground, the Variable-delay Polarization Modulator, is uniquely designed to provide explicit sensitivity to circular polarization (Stokes V). We present a first detection of circularly polarized atmospheric emission at 40 GHz that is well described by a dipole with an amplitude of  when observed at an elevation of 45°, and discuss its potential impact on the recovery of linear polarization by CLASS. Filtering the atmospheric component, CLASS places a 95% confidence upper limit of  to  on  for , representing an improvement by two orders of magnitude over previous CMB limits.

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