Astronomy Department

News and Notes

August 16, 2011 - First light for AzTEC on the LMT!

serpens

AzTEC/LMT 1.1 mm continuum grayscale image of the core of the extremely young embedded stellar cluster, Serpens South, overlaid on the false-color mid-infrared discovery image from the Spitzer Space Telescope (RGB = 24, 8.0, 4.5 microns). Over fifty Sun-like stars are forming in the busy center of this region, based on the Spitzer data, but the 1.1 mm image enables us to isolate those sources that are too heavily enshrouded in dust for even Spitzer to see. Red contours overlaid on the grayscale image are derived from a similar map at 350 microns from SHARC-II on the CSO (M. Dunham et al. in prep.); the similar angular resolution and close agreement of the two maps imply similar dust temperatures among the different emission structures now resolved at 1.1 mm by the LMT.

August 24, 2010

The AzTEC Instrument website has a brand new look! The publications page has also been updated. If you have ideas for other content updates or any suggestions for the website, please contact Stacey.

April 24, 2008

The dates for the 2008 AzTEC/ASTE run are now set. The instrument will be installed into the telescope on July 1 with science observing beginning on August 1 (or earlier if all goes well). We plan to observe through November 2008.

March 27, 2008

What was it that I wrote about updating this page more often? In any case, two noteworthy things have happened recently. We have just had our collaboration and TAC meetings with our collaborators in Japan. In addition to planning out the 2008 observing season on ASTE we had a one-day seminar on results from 2007. Both the extragalactic and galactic projects look fantastic. While there we also managed to wrap up our first paper from the ASTE 2007 season (embarassingly beating many JCMT projects to press ...) on an ultra-bright (15.9mJy) source found in the Bullet Cluster map. This paper now on astro-ph.

January 31, 2008

My pledge to update this page more often has gone unfulfilled. In any case, the AzTEC team has been working hard on reducing data from the ASTE run along with working on a series of papers from the JCMT run. We have finally pushed the instrument paper and the first AzTEC/COSMOS paper out the door. The COSMOS paper has a detailed description of the analysis pipeline. The instrument paper has a lot of technical information about the instrument and the way we do the observations. Both can be accessed via the "publications" link to the left. The rest of the papers in our immediate queue (currently 4 that people on the team here are leading + a number of others being led by our collaborators) are slowly getting wrapped up. They have taken longer than initially planned to write only because they are pointing to some interesting and unexpected results. I won't spoil the surprises here though ... Stay tuned.

October 5, 2007

Observations with AzTEC on ASTE enter their final week next week. The run thus far has been an amazing success. We've managed to make a series of very deep maps in search of submillimeter galaxies both in blank fields and in cluster environments, we have nice maps of young star forming regions, and with some more work on our analysis pipeline we should have some nice maps of the SZE in a handful of clusters. Overall we couldn't be happier with how the 2007 run has worked out. Meanwhile, our group at UMass has been wrapping up the first three major papers from the JCMT run in 2005/2006. More to come ...

August 9, 2007

Our first AzTEC publication was accepted by the Astrophysical Journal and has appeared on astro-ph. Here's an image from the press release which shows from left to right: AzTEC detection of an ultra-bright SMG in the COSMOS field, the SMA follow-up which pinpoints the location, and the lack of a detection by the ACS camera on Hubble.

cos4

Credit: Left University of Massachusetts / Middle Harvard-Smithsonian CfA / Right COSMOS/ACS Team

August 3, 2007

Observations with AzTEC on ASTE continue. Just after writing that last note the weather took a glorious turn for the better. We have been operating under very low opacities (tau at 225GHz < 0.05) almost every night. Many science projects are underway or have been completed, and the system is very well behaved giving us extremely high observing efficiency. Now if only we could remember to write notes here more often ...

June 25, 2007

AzTEC observations at the ASTE telescope are underway! The instrument is installed, commissioned, and we have just finished our first week of science observations. The weather has been crummy (snow, wind, and heavy clouds on some nights) and even when it has been good it has not been any better than Mauna Kea in terms of the opacity. Despite this we were able to integrate down on a cluster (XMMJ2215.9-1738) to sub-mJy levels in four half-nights. A better determination of the map rms is awaiting some tweaks to the calibration and the extinction corrections.