Michael F. Skrutskie - UVA

Michael F. Skrutskie
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Michael F. Skrutskie

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Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (32)
Astrophysics of Galaxies (15)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (9)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (7)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (6)
High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena (3)

Publications Authored By Michael F. Skrutskie

Affiliations: 1Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 2Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 3Western Washington University, 4University of Oxford, 5Yale, 6Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 7Leiden Observatory, 8Steward Observatory, 9University of Michigan, 10University of Michigan, 11Vanderbilt University, 12University of Virginia, 13Wesleyan University, 14University of Virginia, 15University of Virginia, 16University of Virginia

The kinematics and dynamics of young stellar populations tests theories of their formation. With this aim, we continue our analysis of the SDSS-III/APOGEE INfrared Spectra of Young Nebulous Clusters (IN-SYNC) survey, a high resolution near infrared spectroscopic survey of young clusters. We focus on the Orion A star-forming region, for which IN-SYNC obtained spectra of ~2700 stars. Read More

In its three years of operation, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE-1) observed $>$14,000 stars with enough epochs over a sufficient temporal baseline for the fitting of Keplerian orbits. We present the custom orbit-fitting pipeline used to create this catalog, which includes novel quality metrics that account for the phase and velocity coverage of a fitted Keplerian orbit. With a typical RV precision of $\sim100-200$ m s$^{-1}$, APOGEE can probe systems with small separation companions down to a few Jupiter masses. Read More

Affiliations: 1Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 2Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 3Western Washington University, 4University of Oxford, 5Yale, 6Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 7Leiden Observatory, 8Steward Observatory, 9ETH Zurich, 10University of Michigan, 11Vanderbilt University, 12University of Virginia, 13Wesleyan University, 14University of Virginia, 15University of Virginia, 16University of Virginia, 17Apache Point Observatory and New Mexico State University

We present the results of the SDSS APOGEE INfrared Spectroscopy of Young Nebulous Clusters program (IN-SYNC) survey of the Orion A molecular cloud. This survey obtained high resolution near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy of about 2700 young pre-main sequence stars throughout the region, acquired across five distinct fields spanning 6deg field of view (FOV). With these spectra, we have measured accurate stellar parameters (T_eff, log g, v sin i) and extinctions, and placed the sources in the Hertzsprung-Russel Diagram (HRD). Read More

We present high-resolution Large Binocular Telescope LBTI/LMIRcam images of the spectroscopic and astrometric binary NO UMa obtained as part of the LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt (LEECH) exoplanet imaging survey. Our H, K$_s$, and L'-band observations resolve the system at angular separations <0.09". Read More


The Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), one of the programs in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III), has now completed its systematic, homogeneous spectroscopic survey sampling all major populations of the Milky Way. After a three year observing campaign on the Sloan 2.5-m Telescope, APOGEE has collected a half million high resolution (R~22,500), high S/N (>100), infrared (1. Read More

Integral field spectrographs are an important technology for exoplanet imaging, due to their ability to take spectra in a high-contrast environment, and improve planet detection sensitivity through spectral differential imaging. ALES is the first integral field spectrograph capable of imaging exoplanets from 3-5$\mu$m, and will extend our ability to characterize self-luminous exoplanets into a wavelength range where they peak in brightness. ALES is installed inside LBTI/LMIRcam on the Large Binocular Telescope, taking advantage of existing AO systems, camera optics, and a HAWAII-2RG detector. Read More

Most field stars will have encountered the highest stellar density and hence the largest number of interactions in their birth environment. Yet the stellar dynamics during this crucial phase are poorly understood. Here we analyze the radial velocities measured for 152 out of 380 observed stars in the 2-6 Myr old star cluster IC 348 as part of the SDSS-III APOGEE. Read More

We are posting this 10-year-old white paper to support an upcoming survey description paper for the SDSS-III Apache Point Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) led by PI Dr. Steven Majewski. The white paper presented here was a contribution to a 2005 "futures" planning process for the Astrophysical Research Consortium led by Dr. Read More

The open cluster NGC 6791 is among the oldest, most massive and metal-rich open clusters in the Galaxy. High-resolution $H$-band spectra from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) of 11 red giants in NGC 6791 are analyzed for their chemical abundances of iron, oxygen, and sodium. The abundances of these three elements are found to be homogeneous (with abundance dispersions at the level of $\sim$ 0. Read More

We present 20 WISE-selected galaxies with bolometric luminosities L_bol > 10^14 L_sun, including five with infrared luminosities L_IR = L(rest 8-1000 micron) > 10^14 L_sun. These "extremely luminous infrared galaxies," or ELIRGs, were discovered using the "W1W2-dropout" selection criteria which requires marginal or non-detections at 3.4 and 4. Read More

We employ the first two years of data from the near-infrared, high-resolution SDSS-III/APOGEE spectroscopic survey to investigate the distribution of metallicity and alpha-element abundances of stars over a large part of the Milky Way disk. Using a sample of ~10,000 kinematically-unbiased red-clump stars with ~5% distance accuracy as tracers, the [alpha/Fe] vs. [Fe/H] distribution of this sample exhibits a bimodality in [alpha/Fe] at intermediate metallicities, -0. Read More

Over two years 8,859 high-resolution H-band spectra of 3,493 young (1 - 10 Myr) stars were gathered by the multi-object spectrograph of the APOGEE project as part of the IN-SYNC ancillary program of that SDSS-III survey. Here we present the forward modeling approach used to derive effective temperatures, surface gravities, radial velocities, rotational velocities, and H-band veiling from these near-infrared spectra. We discuss in detail the statistical and systematic uncertainties in these stellar parameters. Read More

A growing subset of Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) show evidence for unexpected interaction with a dense circumstellar medium (SNe Ia-CSM). The precise nature of the progenitor, however, remains debated owing to spectral ambiguities arising from a strong contribution from the CSM interaction. Late-time spectra offer potential insight if the post-shock cold, dense shell becomes sufficiently thin and/or the ejecta begin to cross the reverse shock. Read More

CfAIR2 is a large homogeneously reduced set of near-infrared (NIR) light curves for Type Ia supernovae (SN Ia) obtained with the 1.3m Peters Automated InfraRed Imaging TELescope (PAIRITEL). This data set includes 4607 measurements of 94 SN Ia and 4 additional SN Iax observed from 2005-2011 at the Fred Lawrence Whipple Observatory on Mount Hopkins, Arizona. Read More

In Spring 2013, the LEECH (LBTI Exozodi Exoplanet Common Hunt) survey began its $\sim$130-night campaign from the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT) atop Mt Graham, Arizona. This survey benefits from the many technological achievements of the LBT, including two 8.4-meter mirrors on a single fixed mount, dual adaptive secondary mirrors for high Strehl performance, and a cold beam combiner to dramatically reduce the telescope's overall background emissivity. Read More

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey III's Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) is a high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopic survey covering all of the major components of the Galaxy, including the dust-obscured regions of the inner Milky Way disk and bulge. Here we present a sample of 10,341 likely red-clump stars (RC) from the first two years of APOGEE operations, selected based on their position in color-metallicity-surface-gravity-effective-temperature space using a new method calibrated using stellar-evolution models and high-quality asteroseismology data. The narrowness of the RC locus in color-metallicity-luminosity space allows us to assign distances to the stars with an accuracy of 5 to 10%. Read More

The Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) - one of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey III programs -- is using near-infrared spectra of $\sim 100,000$ red giant branch star candidates to study the structure of the Milky Way. In the course of the survey, APOGEE also acquires spectra of hot field stars to serve as telluric calibrators for the primary science targets. We report the serendipitous discovery of two rare, fast-rotating B stars of the $\sigma$ Ori E type among those blue field stars observed during the first year of APOGEE operations. Read More

As part of a larger search of Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) data for cool brown dwarfs with effective temperatures less than 1000 K, we present the discovery of three new cool brown dwarfs with spectral types later than T7. Using low-resolution, near-infrared spectra obtained with the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility and the Hubble Space Telescope we derive spectral types of T9.5 for WISE J094305. Read More

The AllWISE processing pipeline has measured motions for all objects detected on WISE images taken between 2010 January and 2011 February. In this paper, we discuss new capabilities made to the software pipeline in order to make motion measurements possible, and we characterize the resulting data products for use by future researchers. Using a stringent set of selection criteria, we find 22,445 objects that have significant AllWISE motions, of which 3,525 have motions that can be independently confirmed from earlier 2MASS images yet lack any published motions in SIMBAD. Read More

We present new observations of the faint "Sirius-like" companion discovered to orbit HD 114174. Previous attempts to image HD 114174 B at mid-infrared wavelengths using NIRC2 at Keck have resulted in a non-detection. Our new L'-band observations taken with the Large Binocular Telescope and LMIRCam recover the companion ($\Delta L$ = 10. Read More

We present an adaptive optics imaging detection of the HD 32297 debris disk at L' (3.8 \microns) obtained with the LBTI/LMIRcam infrared instrument at the LBT. The disk is detected at signal-to-noise per resolution element ~ 3-7. Read More

Gas-giant planets emit a large fraction of their light in the mid-infrared ($\gtrsim$3$\mu$m), where photometry and spectroscopy are critical to our understanding of the bulk properties of extrasolar planets. Of particular importance are the L and M-band atmospheric windows (3-5$\mu$m), which are the longest wavelengths currently accessible to ground-based, high-contrast imagers. We present binocular LBT AO images of the HR 8799 planetary system in six narrow-band filters from 3-4$\mu$m, and a Magellan AO image of the 2M1207 planetary system in a broader 3. Read More

The dynamics of the core of the Sagittarius (Sgr) dwarf spheroidal (dSph) galaxy are explored using high-resolution (R~22,500), H-band, near-infrared spectra of over 1,000 giant stars in the central 3 deg^2 of the system, of which 328 are identified as Sgr members. These data, among some of the earliest observations from the SDSS-III/Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) and the largest published sample of high resolution Sgr dSph spectra to date, reveal a distinct gradient in the velocity dispersion of Sgr from 11-14 km/s for radii >0.8 degrees from center to a dynamical cold point of 8 km/s in the Sgr center --- a trend differing from that found in previous kinematical analyses of Sgr over larger scales that suggest a more or less flat dispersion profile at these radii. Read More


We have discovered a wide separation (188.5") T8 subdwarf companion to the sdM1.5+WD binary Wolf 1130. Read More

We discover four high proper motion L dwarfs by comparing the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) to the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). WISE J140533.32+835030. Read More

In our effort to complete the census of low-mass stars and brown dwarfs in the immediate Solar Neighborhood, we present spectra, photometry, proper motions, and distance estimates for forty-two low-mass star and brown dwarf candidates discovered by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). We also present additional follow-up information on twelve candidates selected using WISE data but previously published elsewhere. The new discoveries include fifteen M dwarfs, seventeen L dwarfs, five T dwarfs, and five objects of other type. Read More

Type IIn supernovae (SNe IIn) are a rare (< 10%) subclass of core-collapse SNe that exhibit relatively narrow emission lines from a dense, pre-existing circumstellar medium (CSM). In 2009, a warm Spitzer survey observed 30 SNe IIn discovered in 2003 - 2008 and detected 10 SNe at distances out to 175 Mpc with unreported late-time infrared emission, in some cases more than 5 years post-discovery. For this single epoch of data, the warm-dust parameters suggest the presence of a radiative heating source consisting of optical/X-ray emission continuously generated by ongoing CSM interaction. Read More

We present a 3-5um LBT/MMT adaptive optics imaging study of three Upper Scorpius stars with brown dwarf (BD) companions with very low-masses/mass ratios (M_BD < 25M_Jup; M_BD / M_star ~ 1-2%), and wide separations (300-700 AU): GSC 06214, 1RXS 1609, and HIP 78530. We combine these new thermal IR data with existing 1-4um and 24um photometry to constrain the properties of the BDs and identify evidence for circumprimary/secondary disks in these unusual systems. We confirm that GSC 06214B is surrounded by a disk, further showing this disk produces a broadband IR excess due to small dust near the dust sublimation radius. Read More

Affiliations: 1UCLA, IPAC, 2IPAC, 3U. of Toledo, 4IPAC, 5IPAC, 6U. of Virginia, 7Cardiff University, 8UCLA, 9NASA JPL, 10UCLA, 11Princeton University, 12IPAC, 13Steward Observatory, 14IPAC, 15UC Berkeley, 16UCSD, MIT, 17UCSC, 18Steward Observatory, 19Steward Observatory, 20IPAC, 21NASA Ames, 22UCSC, 23Steward Observatory, 24LANL, 25Carnegie Institution of Washington, 26Steward Observatory

We report the discovery of 87 new T dwarfs uncovered with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and three brown dwarfs with extremely red near-infrared colors that exhibit characteristics of both L and T dwarfs. Two of the new T dwarfs are likely binaries with L7+/-1 primaries and mid-type T secondaries. In addition, our follow-up program has confirmed 10 previously identified T dwarfs and four photometrically-selected L and T dwarf candidates in the literature. Read More

Despite its importance for understanding the nature of early stellar generations and for constraining Galactic bulge formation models, at present little is known about the metal-poor stellar content of the central Milky Way. This is a consequence of the great distances involved and intervening dust obscuration, which challenge optical studies. However, the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE), a wide-area, multifiber, high-resolution spectroscopic survey within Sloan Digital Sky Survey III (SDSS-III), is exploring the chemistry of all Galactic stellar populations at infrared wavelengths, with particular emphasis on the disk and the bulge. Read More

We present astrometric measurements of eleven nearby ultracool brown dwarfs of spectral types Y and late-T, based on imaging observations from a variety of space-based and ground-based telescopes. These measurements have been used to estimate relative parallaxes and proper motions via maximum likelihood fitting of geometric model curves. To compensate for the modest statistical significance (<~ 7) of our parallax measurements we have employed a novel Bayesian procedure for distance estimation which makes use of an a priori distribution of tangential velocities, Vtan, assumed similar to that implied by previous observations of T dwarfs. Read More

We measure the Milky Way's rotation curve over the Galactocentric range 4 kpc <~ R <~ 14 kpc from the first year of data from the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE). We model the line-of-sight velocities of 3,365 stars in fourteen fields with b = 0 deg between 30 deg < l < 210 deg out to distances of 10 kpc using an axisymmetric kinematical model that includes a correction for the asymmetric drift of the warm tracer population (\sigma_R ~ 35 km/s). We determine the local value of the circular velocity to be V_c(R_0) = 218 +/- 6 km/s and find that the rotation curve is approximately flat with a local derivative between -3. Read More

We present the discovery of another seven Y dwarfs from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Using these objects, as well as the first six WISE Y dwarf discoveries from Cushing et al., we further explore the transition between spectral types T and Y. Read More

We present diffraction-limited \ks band and \lprime adaptive optics images of the edge-on debris disk around the nearby F2 star HD 15115, obtained with a single 8.4 m primary mirror at the Large Binocular Telescope. At \ks band the disk is detected at signal-to-noise per resolution element (SNRE) \about 3-8 from \about 1-2\fasec 5 (45-113 AU) on the western side, and from \about 1. Read More

We present ground-based spectroscopic verification of six Y dwarfs (see Cushing et al), eighty-nine T dwarfs, eight L dwarfs, and one M dwarf identified by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Eighty of these are cold brown dwarfs with spectral types greater than or equal to T6, six of which have been announced earlier in Mainzer et al and Burgasser et al. We present color-color and color-type diagrams showing the locus of M, L, T, and Y dwarfs in WISE color space. Read More

We present the discovery of seven ultracool brown dwarfs identified with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Near-infrared spectroscopy reveals deep absorption bands of H_2O and CH_4 that indicate all seven of the brown dwarfs have spectral types later than UGPS J072227.51-054031. Read More

We present the results of the 2MASS Redshift Survey (2MRS), a ten-year project to map the full three-dimensional distribution of galaxies in the nearby Universe. The 2 Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) was completed in 2003 and its final data products, including an extended source catalog (XSC), are available on-line. The 2MASS XSC contains nearly a million galaxies with Ks <= 13. Read More

The multiplicity properties of brown dwarfs are critical empirical constraints for formation theories, while multiples themselves provide unique opportunities to test evolutionary and atmospheric models and examine empirical trends. Studies using high-resolution imaging can not only uncover faint companions, but they can also be used to determine dynamical masses through long-term monitoring of binary systems. We have begun a search for the coolest brown dwarfs using preliminary processing of data from the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and have confirmed many of the candidates as late-type T dwarfs. Read More

Affiliations: 1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, 2UVA, 3UVA, 4Harvard-CfA, 5UC Berkeley, 6UC Berkeley, 7UC Berkeley, 8UC Berkeley, 9UC Berkeley

Recent observations suggest that Type IIn supernovae (SNe IIn) may exhibit late-time (>100 days) infrared (IR) emission from warm dust more than other types of core-collapse SNe. Mid-IR observations, which span the peak of the thermal spectral energy distribution, provide useful constraints on the properties of the dust and, ultimately, the circumstellar environment, explosion mechanism, and progenitor system. Due to the low SN IIn rate (<10% of all core-collapse SNe), few IR observations exist for this subclass. Read More

Affiliations: 1UCSD/MIT, 2NASA JPL, 3Caltech/IPAC, 4Caltech/IPAC, 5Caltech/IPAC, 6U. Hawaii, 7U. New South Wales, 8MIT, 9Penn State, 10U. Virginia, 11NASA JPL, 12The Potomac School, 13Caltech/IPAC, 14NASA/JPL, 15UCLA

We present the discovery of five late-type T dwarfs identified with the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE). Low-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy obtained with the Magellan Folded-port InfraRed Echellette (FIRE) reveal strong water and methane absorption in all five sources, and spectral indices and comparison to spectral templates indicate classifications ranging from T5.5 to T8. Read More