R. Mendez - IfA, University of Hawaii

R. Mendez
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R. Mendez
IfA, University of Hawaii
United States

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Pub Categories

Astrophysics of Galaxies (20)
Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (19)
Astrophysics (11)
Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (6)
Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics (5)
Nuclear Experiment (2)
Physics - Instrumentation and Detectors (2)
Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (1)
High Energy Physics - Experiment (1)
Physics - Data Analysis; Statistics and Probability (1)

Publications Authored By R. Mendez

We use the multi-epoch K$\rm _S$ band observations, covering a $\sim$5 years baseline to obtain milli and sub-milli arcsec precision astrometry for a sample of eighteen previously known high proper motion sources, including precise parallaxes for these sources for the first time. In this study we show the capability of the VVV project to measure high precision trigonometric parallaxes for very low mass stars (VLMS) up to distances of $\sim$250\,pc reaching farther than most other ground based surveys or space missions for these types of stars. Additionally, we used spectral energy distribution to search for evidence of unresolved binary systems and cool sub-dwarfs. Read More

Authors: GlueX Collaboration, H. Al Ghoul, E. G. Anassontzis, A. Austregesilo, F. Barbosa, A. Barnes, T. D. Beattie, D. W. Bennett, V. V. Berdnikov, T. Black, W. Boeglin, W. J. Briscoe, W. K. Brooks, B. E. Cannon, O. Chernyshov, E. Chudakov, V. Crede, M. M. Dalton, A. Deur, S. Dobbs, A. Dolgolenko, M. Dugger, R. Dzhygadlo, H. Egiyan, P. Eugenio, C. Fanelli, A. M. Foda, J. Frye, S. Furletov, L. Gan, A. Gasparian, A. Gerasimov, N. Gevorgyan, K. Goetzen, V. S. Goryachev, L. Guo, H. Hakobyan, J. Hardin, A. Henderson, G. M. Huber, D. G. Ireland, M. M. Ito, N. S. Jarvis, R. T. Jones, V. Kakoyan, M. Kamel, F. J. Klein, R. Kliemt, C. Kourkoumeli, S. Kuleshov, I. Kuznetsov, M. Lara, I. Larin, D. Lawrence, W. I. Levine, K. Livingston, G. J. Lolos, V. Lyubovitskij, D. Mack, P. T. Mattione, V. Matveev, M. McCaughan, M. McCracken, W. McGinley, J. McIntyre, R. Mendez, C. A. Meyer, R. Miskimen, R. E. Mitchell, F. Mokaya, K. Moriya, F. Nerling, G. Nigmatkulov, N. Ochoa, A. I. Ostrovidov, Z. Papandreou, M. Patsyuk, R. Pedroni, M. R. Pennington, L. Pentchev, K. J. Peters, E. Pooser, B. Pratt, Y. Qiang, J. Reinhold, B. G. Ritchie, L. Robison, D. Romanov, C. Salgado, R. A. Schumacher, C. Schwarz, J. Schwiening, A. Yu. Semenov, I. A. Semenova, K. K. Seth, M. R. Shepherd, E. S. Smith, D. I. Sober, A. Somov, S. Somov, O. Soto, N. Sparks, M. J. Staib, J. R. Stevens, I. I. Strakovsky, A. Subedi, V. Tarasov, S. Taylor, A. Teymurazyan, I. Tolstukhin, A. Tomaradze, A. Toro, A. Tsaris, G. Vasileiadis, I. Vega, N. K. Walford, D. Werthmuller, T. Whitlatch, M. Williams, E. Wolin, T. Xiao, J. Zarling, Z. Zhang, B. Zihlmann, V. Mathieu, J. Nys

We report measurements of the photon beam asymmetry $\Sigma$ for the reactions $\vec{\gamma}p\to p\pi^0$ and $\vec{\gamma}p\to p\eta $ from the GlueX experiment using a 9 GeV linearly-polarized, tagged photon beam incident on a liquid hydrogen target in Jefferson Lab's Hall D. The asymmetries, measured as a function of the proton momentum transfer, possess greater precision than previous $\pi^0$ measurements and are the first $\eta$ measurements in this energy regime. The results are compared with theoretical predictions based on $t$-channel, quasi-particle exchange and constrain the axial-vector component of the neutral meson production mechanism in these models. Read More

Chemical abundances of eight O- and B-type stars are determined from high-resolution spectra obtained with the MIKE instrument on the Magellan 6.5m Clay telescope. The sample is selected from 42 candidates of membership in the Leading Arm of the Magellanic System. Read More

Despite their close proximity, the complex interplay between the two Magellanic Clouds, the Milky Way, and the resulting tidal features, is still poorly understood. Recent studies have shown that the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) has a very extended disk strikingly perturbed in its outskirts. We search for recent star formation in the far outskirts of the LMC, out to ~30 degrees from its center. Read More

This paper starts with a brief historical review about the PNLF and its use as a distance indicator. Then the PNLF distances are compared with Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) distances and Tip of the Red Giant Branch (TRGB) distances. A Monte Carlo method to generate simulated PNLFs is described, leading to the last subject: recent progress in reproducing the expected maximum final mass in old stellar populations, a stellar astrophysics enigma that has been challenging us for quite some time. Read More

Knowledge of the stellar content near the Sun is important for a broad range of topics ranging from the search for planets to the study of Milky Way structure. The most powerful method for identifying potentially nearby stars is proper motion (PM) surveys. All old optical surveys avoid, or are at least substantially incomplete, near the Galactic plane. Read More

Context. The best precision that can be achieved to estimate the location of a stellar-like object is a topic of permanent interest in the astrometric community. Aims. Read More

The central star of the planetary nebula NGC 1514 is among the visually brightest central stars in the sky (V=9.5). It has long been known to show a composite spectrum, consisting of an A-type star and a much hotter star responsible for the ionization of the surrounding nebula. Read More

The results of speckle interferometric observations at the SOAR telescope in 2015 are given, totalling 1303 measurements of 924 resolved binary and multiple stars and non-resolutions of 260 targets. The separations range from 12 mas to 3.37" (median 0. Read More


The GlueX experiment at Jefferson Lab ran with its first commissioning beam in late 2014 and the spring of 2015. Data were collected on both plastic and liquid hydrogen targets, and much of the detector has been commissioned. All of the detector systems are now performing at or near design specifications and events are being fully reconstructed, including exclusive production of $\pi^{0}$, $\eta$ and $\omega$ mesons. Read More

The census of the solar neighborhood is almost complete for stars and becoming more complete in the brown dwarf regime. Spectroscopic, photometric and kinematic characterization of nearby objects helps us to understand the local mass function, the binary fraction, and provides new targets for sensitive planet searches. We aim to derive spectral types and spectro-photometric distances of a sample of new high proper motion sources found with the WISE satellite, and obtain parallaxes for those objects that fall within the area observed by the Vista Variables in the V\'ia L\'actea survey (VVV). Read More

We characterize the performance of the widely-used least-squares estimator in astrometry in terms of a comparison with the Cramer-Rao lower variance bound. In this inference context the performance of the least-squares estimator does not offer a closed-form expression, but a new result is presented (Theorem 1) where both the bias and the mean-square-error of the least-squares estimator are bounded and approximated analytically, in the latter case in terms of a nominal value and an interval around it. From the predicted nominal value we analyze how efficient is the least-squares estimator in comparison with the minimum variance Cramer-Rao bound. Read More

The results of speckle interferometric observations at the SOAR telescope in 2014 are given. A total of 1641 observations were taken, yielding 1636 measurements of 1218 resolved binary and multiple stars and 577 non-resolutions of 441 targets. We resolved for the first time 56 pairs, including some nearby astrometric or spectroscopic binaries and ten new subsystems in previously known visual binaries. Read More

Context. At least 492 central stars of Galactic planetary nebulae (CSPNs) have been assigned spectral types. Since many CSPNs are faint, these classification efforts are frequently made at low spectral resolution. Read More

In 2012, we applied a three-dimensional formulation to kinematic measurements of the Galactic thick disk and derived a surprisingly low dark matter density at the solar position. This result was challenged by Bovy & Tremaine (2012, ApJ, 756, 89), who claimed that the observational data are consistent with the expected dark matter density if a one-dimensional approach is adopted. We analyze the assumption at the bases of their formulation and their claim that this returns a lower limit for the local dark matter density, which is accurate within 20%. Read More

Context. Nearby isolated planetary mass objects are beginning to be discovered, but their individual properties are poorly constrained because their low surface temperatures and strong molecular self-absorption make them extremely faint. Aims. Read More

In this paper we use the Cramer-Rao lower uncertainty bound to estimate the maximum precision that could be achieved on the joint simultaneous (or 2D) estimation of photometry and astrometry of a point source measured by a linear CCD detector array. We develop exact expressions for the Fisher matrix elements required to compute the Cramer-Rao bound in the case of a source with a Gaussian light profile. From these expressions we predict the behavior of the Cramer-Rao astrometric and photometric precision as a function of the signal and the noise of the observations, and compare them to actual observations - finding a good correspondence between them. Read More

We present Keck II laser guide star adaptive optics observations of the brown dwarf WISEP J061135.13-041024.0 showing it is a binary with a component separation of 0. Read More

Affiliations: 1Williams College, 2University of Hawaii, 3UNAM México, 4NOAO, 5IAC, 6Macquarie University, 7Peking University, 8University of Oklahoma, 9Mt. Stromlo Observatory, 10Peking University, 11UNAM Ensenada, 12IAC, 13Macquarie University

We present a summary of current research on planetary nebulae and their central stars, and related subjects such as atomic processes in ionized nebulae, AGB and post-AGB evolution. Future advances are discussed that will be essential to substantial improvements in our knowledge in the field. Read More

Radial velocities and metallicities have been measured for 82 RR Lyrae identified by the QUEST survey in the direction of the Virgo constellation. Distributed over 90 sq. deg. Read More

Strongly interacting galaxies undergo a short-lived but dramatic phase of evolution characterized by enhanced star formation, tidal tails, bridges and other morphological peculiarities. The nearest example of a pair of interacting galaxies is the Magellanic Clouds, whose dynamical interaction produced the gaseous features known as the Magellanic Stream trailing the pair's orbit about the Galaxy, the Bridge between the Clouds, and the Leading Arm, a wide and irregular feature leading the orbit. Young, newly formed stars in the Bridge are known to exist, giving witness to the recent interaction between the Clouds. Read More

We present our spectroscopic program aimed to study some new interesting features recently discovered in the Magellanic Cloud System. These were revealed by the spatial distribution of OB-type candidate stars, selected based on UV, optical and IR photometry and proper motions from existing large-area catalogs. As a pilot study of our project, we are studying OB-star candidates in the Leading Arm (LA) of the Magellanic Stream, a gaseous tidal structure with no stellar counterpart known so far. Read More

The discovery and subsequent detailed study of T dwarfs has provided many surprises and pushed the physics and modeling of cool atmospheres in unpredicted directions. Distance is a critical parameter for studies of these objects to determine intrinsic luminosities, test binarity and measure their motion in the Galaxy. We describe a new observational program to determine distances across the full range of T dwarf sub-types using the NTT/SOFI telescope/instrument combination. Read More

In this paper we explore the maximum precision attainable in the location of a point source imaged by a pixel array detector in the presence of a background, as a function of the detector properties. For this we use a well-known result from parametric estimation theory, the so-called Cramer-Rao lower bound. We develop the expressions in the 1-dimensional case of a linear array detector in which the only unknown parameter is the source position. Read More

Affiliations: 1OV/Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, 2University of Hawaii, 3Australian National University, 4University of Hawaii, 5INAF/Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri

We present positions, kinematics, and the planetary nebula luminosity function (PNLF) for 35 planetary nebulae (PNe) in the nearest starburst galaxy IC10 extending out to 3kpc from the galaxy's centre. We take advantage of the deep imaging and spectroscopic capabilities provided by the spectrograph FOCAS on the 8.2m Subaru telescope. Read More

We measured the surface mass density of the Galactic disk at the solar position, up to 4 kpc from the plane,by means of the kinematics of ~400 thick disk stars. The results match the expectations for the visible mass only, and no dark matter is detected in the volume under analysis. The current models of dark matter halo are excluded with a significance higher than 5sigma, unless a highly prolate halo is assumed, very atypical in cold dark matter simulations. Read More

We estimated the dynamical surface mass density Sigma at the solar position between Z=1.5 and 4 kpc from the Galactic plane, as inferred from the kinematics of thick disk stars. The formulation is exact within the limit of validity of a few basic assumptions. Read More

The variation of the kinematical properties of the Galactic thick disk with Galactic height Z are studied by means of 412 red giants observed in the direction of the south Galactic pole up to 4.5 kpc from the plane. We confirm the non-null mean radial motion toward the Galactic anticenter found by other authors, but we find that it changes sign at |Z|=3 kpc, and the proposed inward motion of the LSR alone cannot explain these observations. Read More

We present the first entirely ground-based astrometric determination of the proper motion for the Fornax Local Group Dwarf Spheroidal satellite galaxy of the Milky Way, using CCD data acquired with the ESO 3.5 m NTT telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chile. Our unweighted mean from five Quasar fields in the background of Fornax, used as fiducial reference points, leads to $\mu_\alpha \cos \delta=0. Read More

We create dynamical models of the massive elliptical galaxy, NGC 4649, using the N-body made-to-measure code, NMAGIC, and kinematic constraints from long-slit and planetary nebula (PN) data. We explore a range of potentials based on previous determinations from X-ray observations and a dynamical model fitting globular cluster (GC) velocities and a stellar density profile. The X-ray mass distributions are similar in the central region but have varying outer slopes, while the GC mass profile is higher in the central region and on the upper end of the range further out. Read More

Using a slitless spectroscopy method with (a) the 8.2 m Subaru telescope and its FOCAS Cassegrain spectrograph, and (b) the ESO Very Large Telescope (VLT) unit 1 (Antu) and its FORS2 Cassegrain spectrograph, we have detected 326 planetary nebulae (PNs) in the giant Virgo elliptical galaxy NGC 4649 (M 60), and we have measured their radial velocities. After rejecting some PNs more likely to belong to the companion galaxy NGC 4647, we have built a catalog with kinematic information for 298 PNs in M 60. Read More

We estimated the dynamical surface mass density (Sigma) at the solar Galactocentric distance between 2 and 4 kpc from the Galactic plane, as inferred from the observed kinematics of the thick disk. We find Sigma(z=2 kpc)=57.6+-5. Read More

Using a slitless spectroscopy method with the 8.2 m Subaru telescope and its FOCAS Cassegrain spectrograph, we have increased the number of planetary nebula (PN) detections and PN velocity measurements in the flattened elliptical galaxy NGC 821. A comparison with the detections reported previously by the Planetary Nebula Spectrograph (PN. Read More

We present trigonometric parallaxes of 64 stellar systems with proper motions between 0\farcs5 yr$^{-1}$ and 1\farcs0 yr$^{-1}$ from the ongoing RECONS (Research Consortium On Nearby Stars) parallax program at CTIO (the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory). All of the systems are south of DEC $= +30$, and 58 had no previous trigonometric parallaxes. In addition to parallaxes for the systems, we present proper motions, Johnson-Kron-Cousins $VRI$ photometry, variability measurements, and spectral types. Read More

In this paper we present in detail the methodology and the first results of a ground-based program to determine the absolute proper motion of the Fornax dwarf spheroidal galaxy. The proper motion was determined using bona-fide Fornax star members measured with respect to a fiducial at-rest background spectroscopically confirmed Quasar, \qso. Our homogeneous measurements, based on this one Quasar gives a value of (\mua,\mud)$ = (0. Read More

We present a quantitative analysis of the SFH of 12 fields in the SMC. We find that there are four main periods of enhancement of star formation: a young one peaked at around 0.2-0. Read More

We study the orbits, tidal heating and mass loss from satellites around close-in gas giant exoplanets. The focus is on large satellites which are potentially observable by their transit signature. We argue that even Earth-size satellites around hot Jupiters may be immune to destruction by orbital decay; detection of such a massive satellite would strongly constrain theories of tidal dissipation in gas giants, in a manner complementary to orbital circularization. Read More

Affiliations: 1University of Washington, 2IfA, University of Hawaii, 3IfA, University of Hawaii

Using an [OIII]5007 on-band/off-band filter technique, we identify 109 planetary nebulae (PNe) candidates in M 82, using the FOCAS instrument at the 8.2m Subaru Telescope. The use of ancillary high-resolution HST ACS H-alpha imaging aided in discriminating PNe from contaminants such as supernova remnants and compact HII regions. Read More

Affiliations: 1Georgia State University, 2Georgia State University, 3Georgia State University, 4University of Montreal, 5University of Arizona, 6University of Virginia, 7University of Chile, 8University of Chile

We present accurate trigonometric parallaxes for 20 new members of the 25 pc white dwarf sample as part of the DENSE project (Discovery and Evalution of Nearby Stellar Embers, http://www.DenseProject.com). Read More

We describe the implementation of slitless radial velocity measurements of extragalactic planetary nebulae (PNs) with the 8.2 m Subaru telescope and its Cassegrain imaging spectrograph, FOCAS. As a first application, we have extended a previous search for PNs in NGC 4697 to larger angular distances from its center. Read More

Affiliations: 1JHU, 2ESO, Garching, 3JHU, 4STScI, 5Observatoire de Geneve, 6Lowell Obs, 7Universidad de Chile
Category: Astrophysics

We show that the open cluster Trumpler 20, contrary to the earlier findings, is actually an old Galactic open cluster. New CCD photometry and high-resolution spectroscopy are used to derive the main parameters of this cluster. At [Fe/H]=-0. Read More

We report the results of our project devoted to study the chemical enrichment history of the field population in the Magellanic Clouds using Ca II triplet spectroscopy. Read More

We present observations for three star clusters, Kron 11, Kron 63 and NGC 121, in the Small Magellanic Cloud. We have studied their structure and derived their fundamental parameters by means of their luminosity functions, their color magnitude diagrams and the Padova suite of isochrones. NGC 121 is a well studied object, for which we confirm previous evidence about its old age and low metal content, and have found that it is undergoing mass segregation. Read More

We present stellar metallicities derived from Ca II triplet spectroscopy in over 350 red giant branch stars in 13 fields distributed in different positions in the SMC, ranging from $\sim$1\arcdeg\@ to $\sim$4\arcdeg\@ from its center. In the innermost fields the average metallicity is [Fe/H] $\sim -1$. This value decreases when we move away towards outermost regions. Read More

We describe a procedure for the numerical simulation of the planetary nebulae luminosity function (PNLF), improving on previous work (Mendez & Soffner 1997). Earlier PNLF simulations were based on an imitation of the observed distribution of the intensities of [O III] 5007 relative to Hbeta, generated predominantly using random numbers. We are now able to replace this by a distribution derived from the predictions of hydrodynamical PN models (Schoenberner et al. Read More

Affiliations: 1MPE Garching, 2MPE Garching, 3MPE Garching, 4Astron. Inst., Univ. Basel, 5Centre for Astroph., Univ. of Central Lancashire, 6MPE Garching, 7IfA, Univ. Hawaii
Category: Astrophysics

We present a dynamical study of NGC 4697, an almost edge-on, intermediate-luminosity, E4 elliptical galaxy, combining new surface brightness photometry, new as well as published long-slit absorption line kinematic data, and published planetary nebulae (PNe) velocity data. The combined kinematic data set extends out to ~= 5' ~= 4.5 R_e and allows us to probe the galaxy's outer halo. Read More

We present the results of radial velocity measurements of 770 thick disk red giants toward the South Galactic Pole, vertically distributed from 0.5 kpc to 5 kpc with respect to the Galactic plane. We find a small gradient in the vertical velocity dispersion (sigma_W) of 3. Read More

We present a catalog of 535 planetary nebulae discovered in the flattened elliptical galaxy NGC 4697, using the FORS1 Cassegrain spectrograph of the Very Large Telescope of the European Southern Observatory at Cerro Paranal, Chile. The catalog provides positions (x, y coordinates relative to the center of light of NGC 4697, as well as RA, Dec.), and, for almost all PNs, the magnitude m(5007) and the heliocentric radial velocity in km/s. Read More

A proper motion study of a field of 20' x 20' inside Plaut's low extinction window (l,b)=(0 deg,-8 deg), has been completed. Relative proper motions and photographic BV photometry have been derived for ~21,000 stars reaching to V~20.5 mag, based on the astrometric reduction of 43 photographic plates, spanning over 21 years of epoch difference. Read More

We present ground-based B and R-band color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs), reaching the oldest main-sequence turnoffs with good photometric accuracy for twelve fields in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). Our fields, located between ~1 and ~4 degrees from the center of the galaxy, are situated in different parts of the SMC such as the "Wing'' area, and towards the West and South. In this paper we perform a first analysis of the stellar content in our SMC fields through comparison with theoretical isochrones and color functions (CFs). Read More