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Galaxies, Volume 9, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 46 articles

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Article
The Nature of Micro-Variability in Blazars
by , , , , , , , and
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 114; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040114 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 126
Abstract
We present the results of a long-term study designed to investigate the nature of micro-variability in blazars carried out primarily at the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) observatories. We analyzed micro-variability data of fifteen OVV quasars and BL Lac sources collected [...] Read more.
We present the results of a long-term study designed to investigate the nature of micro-variability in blazars carried out primarily at the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA) observatories. We analyzed micro-variability data of fifteen OVV quasars and BL Lac sources collected from 1995 to 2021. The data set consists of single-band light curves interspersed with multi-color and micro-variability observations. This paper reports over 900 nights of CCD observations. We also incorporated observations from other observers as well as observations gleaned from the literature into our analysis. We employed differential photometry to measure magnitudes and then construct the long-term and micro-variability light curves. Our results indicate that there is no correlation between the presence of micro-variations and the brightness of the source. We present a viable theory to explain the intermittent micro-variability as pulses of radiation emitted by individual turbulent cells in the relativistic jet, which are stimulated by a passing shock wave. We present model fits and test results for various data sets, including WEBT light curves, Kepler light curves and a TESS light curve. Although the consensus in the community is that blazar jets must be turbulent, the identification of micro-variations as manifestations of actual turbulent cells is important for modeling these turbulent jets. We can obtain estimates of cell sizes (assuming a shock speed), and the distribution of cell sizes derived from observations is consistent with numerical simulation predictions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multi-Messenger and Multi-Timescale Variability in Blazars)
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Review
The SVOM Mission
by , and
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040113 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 122
Abstract
SVOM (Space-based multiband astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) is a sino-french mission that is dedicated to Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) science, expected to be launched in mid 2023. The mission includes four space-based and three ground-based instruments that, working together, will discover GRBs and provide [...] Read more.
SVOM (Space-based multiband astronomical Variable Objects Monitor) is a sino-french mission that is dedicated to Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) science, expected to be launched in mid 2023. The mission includes four space-based and three ground-based instruments that, working together, will discover GRBs and provide rapid multi-wavelength follow-up in order to obtain a complete coverage of the GRB emission over seven decades in energy, from the trigger up to the very late phases of the afterglow. Thanks to its characteristics, SVOM will play a crucial role in time-domain and multi-messenger astronomy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
Article
Spectral Index of the Filaments in the Abell 523 Radio Halo
by , , , , , , and
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040112 (registering DOI) - 04 Dec 2021
Viewed by 121
Abstract
The galaxy cluster Abell 523 hosts a radio halo characterized by the presence of two filaments transversely located with respect to the cluster merger axis. In this paper, we present a spectral index image of these filaments between 1.410 and 1.782 GHz obtained [...] Read more.
The galaxy cluster Abell 523 hosts a radio halo characterized by the presence of two filaments transversely located with respect to the cluster merger axis. In this paper, we present a spectral index image of these filaments between 1.410 and 1.782 GHz obtained with Jansky Very Large Array observations. We find a steepening of the spectral index of the filaments at frequencies ≳1.4 GHz and an indication that bright patches are characterized by flat spectral indices. Our results are consistent with a scenario of highly-efficient turbulence induced by merger phenomena. Full article
Article
Modelling the Energy Spectra of Radio Relics
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040111 - 01 Dec 2021
Viewed by 181
Abstract
Radio relics are diffuse synchrotron sources that illuminate shock waves in the intracluster medium. In recent years, radio telescopes have provided detailed observations about relics. Consequently, cosmological simulations of radio relics need to provide a similar amount of detail. In this methodological work, [...] Read more.
Radio relics are diffuse synchrotron sources that illuminate shock waves in the intracluster medium. In recent years, radio telescopes have provided detailed observations about relics. Consequently, cosmological simulations of radio relics need to provide a similar amount of detail. In this methodological work, we include information on adiabatic compression and expansion, which have been neglected in the past in the modelling of relics. In a cosmological simulation of a merging galaxy cluster, we follow the energy spectra of shock accelerated cosmic-ray electrons using Lagrangian tracer particles. On board of each tracer particle, we compute the temporal evolution of the energy spectrum under the influence of synchrotron radiation, inverse Compton scattering, and adiabatic compression and expansion. Exploratory tests show that the total radio power and, hence, the integrated radio spectrum are not sensitive to the adiabatic processes. This is attributed to small changes in the compression ratio over time. Full article
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Article
Hot Spots Drift in Synchronous and Asynchronous Polars: Results of Three-Dimensional Numerical Simulation
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040110 - 28 Nov 2021
Viewed by 272
Abstract
In this paper, the characteristics of hot spots on an accretor surface are investigated for two types of polars: the eclipsing synchronous polar V808 Aur and the non-eclipsing asynchronous polar CD Ind in configuration of an offset and non-offset magnetic dipole. The drift [...] Read more.
In this paper, the characteristics of hot spots on an accretor surface are investigated for two types of polars: the eclipsing synchronous polar V808 Aur and the non-eclipsing asynchronous polar CD Ind in configuration of an offset and non-offset magnetic dipole. The drift of hot spots is analyzed based on the results of numerical calculations and maps of the temperature distribution over the accretor surface. It is shown that a noticeable displacement of the spots is determined by the ratio of ballistic and magnetic parts of the jet trajectory. In the synchronous polar, the dominant influence on the drift of hot spots is exerted by variations in the mass transfer rate, which entail a change in the ballistic part of the trajectory. It was found that when the mass transfer rate changes within the range of 1010M/year to 107M/year, the displacement of the hot spot in latitude and longitude can reach 30. In the asynchronous polar, a change in the position of hot spots is mainly defined by the properties of the white dwarf magnetosphere, and the displacement of hot spots in latitude and longitude can reach 20. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue What’s New under the Binary Suns)
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Article
Magnetogenesis and the Cosmic Web: A Joint Challenge for Radio Observations and Numerical Simulations
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040109 - 23 Nov 2021
Viewed by 185
Abstract
The detection of the radio signal from filaments in the cosmic web is crucial to distinguish possible magnetogenesis scenarios. We review the status of the different attempts to detect the cosmic web at radio wavelengths. This is put into the context of the [...] Read more.
The detection of the radio signal from filaments in the cosmic web is crucial to distinguish possible magnetogenesis scenarios. We review the status of the different attempts to detect the cosmic web at radio wavelengths. This is put into the context of the advanced simulations of cosmic magnetism carried out in the last few years by our MAGCOW project. While first attempts of imaging the cosmic web with the MWA and LOFAR have been encouraging and could discard some magnetogenesis models, the complexity behind such observations makes a definitive answer still uncertain. A combination of total intensity and polarimetric data at low radio frequencies that the SKA and LOFAR2.0 will achieve is key to removing the existing uncertainties related to the contribution of many possible sources of signal along deep lines of sight. This will make it possible to isolate the contribution from filaments, and expose its deep physical connection with the origin of extragalactic magnetism. Full article
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Article
Radio and X-ray Observations of the Restarted Radio Galaxy in the Galaxy Cluster CL 0838+1948
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 108; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040108 - 21 Nov 2021
Viewed by 320
Abstract
We present VLA Low-band Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE) 338 MHz observations of the galaxy cluster CL 0838+1948. We combine the VLITE data with Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope 610 MHz observations and survey data. The central galaxy hosts a 250 kpc source whose [...] Read more.
We present VLA Low-band Ionosphere and Transient Experiment (VLITE) 338 MHz observations of the galaxy cluster CL 0838+1948. We combine the VLITE data with Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope 610 MHz observations and survey data. The central galaxy hosts a 250 kpc source whose emission is dominated by two large lobes at low frequencies. At higher frequencies, a pair of smaller lobes (∼30 kpc) is detected within the galaxy optical envelope. The observed morphology is consistent with a restarted radio galaxy. The outer lobes have a spectral index αout=1.6, indicating that they are old, whereas the inner lobes have αinn=0.6, typical for an active source. Spectral modeling confirms that the outer emission is a dying source whose nuclear activity switched off not more than 110 Myr ago. Using archival Chandra X-ray data, we compare the radio and hot gas emission. We find that the active radio source is contained within the innermost and X-ray brightest region, possibly a galactic corona. Alternatively, it could be the remnant of a larger cool core whose outer layers have been heated by the former epoch of activity that has generated the outer lobes. Full article
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Article
How Are Red and Blue Quasars Different? The Radio Properties
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 107; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040107 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 277
Abstract
A non-negligible fraction of quasars are red at optical wavelengths, indicating (in the majority of cases) that the accretion disc is obscured by a column of dust which extinguishes the shorter-wavelength blue emission. In this paper, we summarize recent work by our group, [...] Read more.
A non-negligible fraction of quasars are red at optical wavelengths, indicating (in the majority of cases) that the accretion disc is obscured by a column of dust which extinguishes the shorter-wavelength blue emission. In this paper, we summarize recent work by our group, where we find fundamental differences in the radio properties of SDSS optically-selected red quasars. We also present new analyses, using a consistent color-selected quasar parent sample matched to four radio surveys (FIRST, VLA Stripe 82, VLA COSMOS 3 GHz, and LoTSS DR1) across a frequency range 144 MHz–3 GHz and four orders of magnitude in radio flux. We show that red quasars have enhanced small-scale radio emission (∼kpc) that peaks around the radio-quiet threshold (defined as the ratio of 1.4 GHz luminosity to 6 μm luminosity) across the four radio samples. Exploring the potential mechanisms behind this enhancement, we rule out star-formation and propose either small-scale synchrotron jets, frustrated jets, or dusty winds interacting with the interstellar medium; the latter two scenarios would provide a more direct connection between opacity (dust; gas) and the production of the radio emission. In our future study, using new multi-band uGMRT data, we aim to robustly distinguish between these scenarios. Full article
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Article
The eMERLIN and EVN View of FR 0 Radio Galaxies
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 106; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040106 - 18 Nov 2021
Viewed by 215
Abstract
We present the results from high-resolution observations carried out with the eMERLIN UK-array and the European VLBI network (EVN) for a sample of 15 FR 0s, i.e., compact core-dominated radio sources associated with nearby early-type galaxies (ETGs), which represent the bulk of [...] Read more.
We present the results from high-resolution observations carried out with the eMERLIN UK-array and the European VLBI network (EVN) for a sample of 15 FR 0s, i.e., compact core-dominated radio sources associated with nearby early-type galaxies (ETGs), which represent the bulk of the local radio galaxy population. The 5 GHz eMERLIN observations available for five objects exhibit sub-mJy core components and reveal pc-scale twin jets for four out of five FR 0s once the eMERLIN and JVLA archival visibilities data are combined. The 1.66 GHz EVN observations available for 10 FR 0s display one- and two-sided jetted morphologies and compact cores. The pc-scale core emission contributes, on average, to about one tenth of the total extended radio emission, although we noted an increasing core contribution for flat-/inverted-spectrum sources. We found an unprecedented linear correlation between the pc-scale core luminosity (∼1021.3–1023.6 W Hz1) and [O III] line luminosity, generally considered as proxy of the accretion power, for a large sample of LINER-type radio-loud low-luminosity active nuclei, all hosted in massive ETGs, which include FR 0s and FR Is. This result represents further evidence of a common jet–disc coupling in FR 0s and FR Is, despite then differing in kpc-scale radio structure. For our objects and for other FR 0 samples reported in the literature, we estimated the jet brightness sidedness ratios, which typically range between one and three. This parameter roughly gauges the jet bulk Lorentz factor Γ, which turns out to range from 1 to 2.5 for most of the sample. This corroborates the scenario that FR 0s are characterized by mildly relativistic jets, possibly as a result of lower-spinning black holes (BHs) than the highly spinning BHs of relativistic-jetted radio galaxies, FR Is. Full article
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Article
Pilot Study and Early Results of the Cosmic Filaments and Magnetism Survey with Nenufar: The Coma Cluster Field
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040105 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 322
Abstract
NenuFAR, the New Extension in Nancay Upgrading LOFAR, is currently in its early science phase. It is in this context that the Cosmic Filaments and Magnetism Pilot Survey is observing sources with the array as it is still under construction—with 57 (56 core, [...] Read more.
NenuFAR, the New Extension in Nancay Upgrading LOFAR, is currently in its early science phase. It is in this context that the Cosmic Filaments and Magnetism Pilot Survey is observing sources with the array as it is still under construction—with 57 (56 core, 1 distant) out of a total planned 102 (96 core, 6 distant) mini-arrays online at the time of observation—to get a first look at the low-frequency sky with NenuFAR. One of its targets is the Coma galaxy cluster: a well-known object, host of the prototype radio halo. It also hosts other features of scientific import, including a radio relic, along with a bridge of emission connecting it with the halo. It is thus a well-studied object.In this paper, we show the first confirmed NenuFAR detection of the radio halo and radio relic of the Coma cluster at 34.4 MHz, with associated intrinsic flux density estimates: we find an integrated flux value of 106.3 ± 3.5 Jy for the radio halo, and 102.0 ± 7.4 Jy for the radio relic. These are upper bound values, as they do not include point-source subtraction. We also give an explanation of the technical difficulties encountered in reducing the data, along with steps taken to resolve them. This will be helpful for other scientific projects which will aim to make use of standalone NenuFAR imaging observations in the future. Full article
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Review
Electromagnetic Precursors of Short Gamma-Ray Bursts as Counterparts of Gravitational Waves
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 104; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040104 - 15 Nov 2021
Viewed by 150
Abstract
Precursor emissions are found in some short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs). In this paper, we review the theories and observations of the SGRB precursor and discuss its prospect as an electromagnetic counterpart of the gravitational wave event produced by neutron star (NS) mergers. The [...] Read more.
Precursor emissions are found in some short gamma-ray bursts (SGRBs). In this paper, we review the theories and observations of the SGRB precursor and discuss its prospect as an electromagnetic counterpart of the gravitational wave event produced by neutron star (NS) mergers. The observed luminosity, spectrum, and duration of precursors are explained by the magnetospheric interaction model during the inspiral or the cocoon/jet shock breakout model during the jet propagation. In general, these two models predict that the precursor will be weaker than the main GRB, but will be of a larger opening angle, which makes it an advantageous gamma-ray counterpart for NS mergers in the local Universe, especially for NS - black hole mergers with very low mass ratios, in which the main GRBs are not expected. The joint observation of the precursor, SGRB, and gravitational wave will help to reveal the jet launch mechanism and post-merger remnant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Article
Quantum Gravity Phenomenology Induced in the Propagation of UHECR, a Kinematical Solution in Finsler and Generalized Finsler Spacetime
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 103; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040103 - 14 Nov 2021
Viewed by 283
Abstract
It is well-known that the universe is opaque to the propagation of Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) since these particles dissipate energy during their propagation interacting with the background fields present in the universe, mainly with the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) in the so-called [...] Read more.
It is well-known that the universe is opaque to the propagation of Ultra-High-Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) since these particles dissipate energy during their propagation interacting with the background fields present in the universe, mainly with the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) in the so-called GZK cut-off phenomenon. Some experimental evidence seems to hint at the possibility of a dilation of the GZK predicted opacity sphere. It is well-known that kinematical perturbations caused by supposed quantum gravity (QG) effects can modify the foreseen GZK opacity horizon. The introduction of Lorentz Invariance Violation can indeed reduce, and in some cases making negligible, the CMB-UHECRs interaction probability. In this work, we explore the effects induced by modified kinematics in the UHECR lightest component phenomenology from the QG perspective. We explore the possibility of a geometrical description of the massive fermions interaction with the supposed quantum structure of spacetime in order to introduce a Lorentz covariance modification. The kinematics are amended, modifying the dispersion relations of free particles in the context of a covariance-preserving framework. This spacetime description requires a more general geometry than the usual Riemannian one, indicating, for instance, the Finsler construction and the related generalized Finsler spacetime as ideal candidates. Finally we investigate the correlation between the magnitude of Lorentz covariance modification and the attenuation length of the photopion production process related to the GZK cut-off, demonstrating that the predicted opacity horizon can be dilated even in the context of a theory that does not require any privileged reference frame. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lorentz Violation in Astroparticles and Gravitational Waves)
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Article
Discovery of Rare Dying Radio Galaxies Using MeerKAT
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040102 - 10 Nov 2021
Viewed by 244
Abstract
Dying radio galaxies represent a stage of the evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGN), during which the accreting central black hole has switched off and/or falls to such a low level that the plasma outflow can no longer be sustained. When this happens, [...] Read more.
Dying radio galaxies represent a stage of the evolution of active galactic nuclei (AGN), during which the accreting central black hole has switched off and/or falls to such a low level that the plasma outflow can no longer be sustained. When this happens, the radio source undergoes a period of fading, the dying phase, before it disappears completely. We present the study of three potential dying radio sources using the MeerKAT radio telescope: MKT J072851.2-752743, MKT J001940.4-654722, and ACO 548B. The identification as dying radio sources came from the MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey (MGCLS). We carry out a multi-wavelength analysis of the sources and derive their energetics. The ages of the sources are ∼30–70 Myr, they have magnetic fields of the order of a few μG, and they have relatively low radio power. Their potential optical counterparts are associated with massive galaxies. We show that ACO 548B, previously classified as two peripheral relic radio sources, is a dying radio galaxy. With its good sensitivity and resolution, MeerKAT is an ideal instrument to detect potential dying radio sources, and contribute to the understanding of the evolution of AGN population. Full article
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Article
Detectability of Continuous Gravitational Waves from Magnetically Deformed Neutron Stars
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040101 - 10 Nov 2021
Viewed by 209
Abstract
Neutron stars are known to contain extremely powerful magnetic fields. Their effect is to deform the shape of the star, leading to the potential emission of continuous gravitational waves. The magnetic deformation of neutron stars, however, depends on the geometry and strength of [...] Read more.
Neutron stars are known to contain extremely powerful magnetic fields. Their effect is to deform the shape of the star, leading to the potential emission of continuous gravitational waves. The magnetic deformation of neutron stars, however, depends on the geometry and strength of their internal magnetic field as well as on their composition, described by the equation of state. Unfortunately, both the configuration of the magnetic field and the equation of state of neutron stars are unknown, and assessing the detectability of continuous gravitational waves from neutron stars suffers from these uncertainties. Using our recent results relating the magnetic deformation of a neutron star to its mass and radius—based on models with realistic equations of state currently allowed by observational and nuclear physics constraints—and considering the Galactic pulsar population, we assess the detectability of continuous gravitational waves from pulsars in the galaxy by current and future gravitational waves detectors. Full article
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Article
Are Disks of Satellites Comprised of Tidal Dwarf Galaxies?
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040100 - 10 Nov 2021
Viewed by 209
Abstract
It was found that satellites of nearby galaxies can form flattened co-rotating structures called disks of satellites or planes of satellites. Their existence is not expected by the current galaxy formation simulations in the standard dark matter-based cosmology. On the contrary, modified gravity [...] Read more.
It was found that satellites of nearby galaxies can form flattened co-rotating structures called disks of satellites or planes of satellites. Their existence is not expected by the current galaxy formation simulations in the standard dark matter-based cosmology. On the contrary, modified gravity offers a promising alternative: the objects in the disks of satellites are tidal dwarf galaxies, that is, small galaxies that form from tidal tails of interacting galaxies. After introducing the topic, we review here our work on simulating the formation of the disks of satellites of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. The initial conditions of the simulation were tuned to reproduce the observed positions, velocities and disk orientations of the galaxies. The simulation showed that the galaxies had a close flyby 6.8 Gyr ago. One of the tidal tails produced by the Milky Way was captured by Andromeda. It formed a cloud of particles resembling the disk of satellites at Andromeda by its size, orientation, rotation and mass. A hint of a disk of satellites was formed at the Milky Way too. In addition, the encounter induced a warp in the disk of the simulated Milky Way that resembles the real warp by its magnitude and orientation. We present here, for the first time, the proper motions of the members of the disk of satellites of Andromeda predicted by our simulation. Finally, we point out some of the remaining open questions which this hypothesis, for the formation of disks of satellites, brings up. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Our Understanding of Dwarf Galaxies)
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Article
Discovery of 178 Giant Radio Galaxies in 1059 deg2 of the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey at 888 MHz
by , and
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040099 - 09 Nov 2021
Viewed by 377
Abstract
We report the results of a visual inspection of images of the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) in search of extended radio galaxies (ERG) that reach or exceed linear sizes on the order of one Megaparsec. We searched a contiguous area of 1059 [...] Read more.
We report the results of a visual inspection of images of the Rapid ASKAP Continuum Survey (RACS) in search of extended radio galaxies (ERG) that reach or exceed linear sizes on the order of one Megaparsec. We searched a contiguous area of 1059 deg2 from RAJ = 20h20m to 06h20m, and 50<DecJ<40, which is covered by deep multi-band optical images of the Dark Energy Survey (DES) and in which previously only three ERGs larger than 1 Mpc had been reported. For over 1800 radio galaxy candidates inspected, our search in optical and infrared images resulted in hosts for 1440 ERG, for which spectroscopic and photometric redshifts from various references were used to convert their largest angular size (LAS) to projected linear size (LLS). This resulted in 178 newly discovered giant radio sources (GRS) with LLS >1 Mpc, of which 18 exceed 2 Mpc and the largest one is 3.4 Mpc. Their redshifts range from 0.02 to ∼2.0, but only 10 of the 178 new GRS have spectroscopic redshifts. For the 146 host galaxies, the median r-band magnitude and redshift are 20.9 and 0.64, while for the 32 quasars or candidates these are 19.7 and 0.75. Merging the six most recent large compilations of GRS results in 458 GRS larger than 1 Mpc, so we were able to increase this number by ∼39% to 636. Full article
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Review
Probing Gamma-Ray Burst VHE Emission with the Southern Wide-Field-of-View Gamma-Ray Observatory
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040098 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 248
Abstract
Recent observations have confirmed that Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) afterglows produce Very High-Energy radiation (VHE, E>100GeV). This highly anticipated discovery opens new scenarios in the interpretation of GRBs and in their role as probes of Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) and Lorentz [...] Read more.
Recent observations have confirmed that Gamma-Ray Burst (GRB) afterglows produce Very High-Energy radiation (VHE, E>100GeV). This highly anticipated discovery opens new scenarios in the interpretation of GRBs and in their role as probes of Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) and Lorentz Invariance Violation (LIV). However, some fundamental questions about the actual nature of VHE emission in GRBs and its evolution during the burst are still unsolved. These questions will be difficult to address, even with future imaging Cherenkov telescopes, such as the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA). Here we investigate the prospects of gamma-ray sky monitoring with Extensive Air Showers arrays (EAS) to address these problems. We discuss the theoretical aspects connected with VHE radiation emission and the implications that its temporal evolution properties have on the interpretation of GRBs. By revisiting the high-energy properties of some Fermi-LAT detected GRBs, we estimate the typical fluxes expected in the VHE band and compare them with a range of foreseeable instrument performances, based on the Southern Wide Field-of-view Gamma-ray Observatory concept (SWGO). We focus our analysis on how different instrument capabilities affect the chances to explore the burst onset and early evolution in VHE, providing invaluable complementary information with respect to Cherenkov telescope observations. We show that under the assumption of conditions already observed in historical events, the next-generation ground monitoring detectors can actually contribute to answer several key questions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Article
A Multiwavelength Dynamical State Analysis of ACT-CL J0019.6+0336
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040097 - 08 Nov 2021
Viewed by 385
Abstract
In our study, we show a multiwavelength view of ACT-CL J0019.6+0336 (which hosts a radio halo), to investigate the cluster dynamics, morphology, and ICM. We use a combination of XMM-Newton images, Dark Energy Survey (DES) imaging and photometry, SDSS spectroscopic information, and 1.16 [...] Read more.
In our study, we show a multiwavelength view of ACT-CL J0019.6+0336 (which hosts a radio halo), to investigate the cluster dynamics, morphology, and ICM. We use a combination of XMM-Newton images, Dark Energy Survey (DES) imaging and photometry, SDSS spectroscopic information, and 1.16 GHz MeerKAT data to study the cluster properties. Various X-ray and optical morphology parameters are calculated to investigate the level of disturbance. We find disturbances in two X-ray parameters and the optical density map shows elongated and axisymmetric structures with the main cluster component southeast of the cluster centre and another component northwest of the cluster centre. We also find a BCG offset of ∼950 km/s from the mean velocity of the cluster, and a discrepancy between the SZ mass, X-ray mass, and dynamical mass (MX,500 and MSZ,500 lies >3σ away from Mdyn,500), showing that J0019 is a merging cluster and probably in a post-merging phase. Full article
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Article
Bound on Photon Circular Orbits in General Relativity and Beyond
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 96; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040096 - 07 Nov 2021
Viewed by 280
Abstract
The existence of a photon circular orbit can tell us a lot about the nature of the underlying spacetime, since it plays a pivotal role in the understanding of the characteristic signatures of compact objects, namely the quasi-normal modes and shadow radius. For [...] Read more.
The existence of a photon circular orbit can tell us a lot about the nature of the underlying spacetime, since it plays a pivotal role in the understanding of the characteristic signatures of compact objects, namely the quasi-normal modes and shadow radius. For this purpose, determination of the location of the photon circular orbit is of utmost importance. In this work, we derive bounds on the location of the photon circular orbit around compact objects within the purview of general relativity and beyond. As we have explicitly demonstrated, contrary to the earlier results in the context of general relativity, the bound on the location of the photon circular orbit is not necessarily an upper bound. Depending on the matter content, it is possible to arrive at a lower bound as well. This has interesting implications for the quasi-normal modes and shadow radius, the two key observables related to the strong field tests of gravity. Besides discussing the bound for higher dimensional general relativity, we have also considered how the bound on the photon circular orbits gets modified in the braneworld scenario, for pure Lovelock and general Lovelock theories of gravity. Implications of these results for compact objects were also discussed. Full article
Article
Accounting for Selection Bias and Redshift Evolution in GRB Radio Afterglow Data
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 95; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040095 - 07 Nov 2021
Viewed by 374
Abstract
Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) are highly energetic events that can be observed at extremely high redshift. However, inherent bias in GRB data due to selection effects and redshift evolution can significantly skew any subsequent analysis. We correct for important variables related to the GRB [...] Read more.
Gamma-ray Bursts (GRBs) are highly energetic events that can be observed at extremely high redshift. However, inherent bias in GRB data due to selection effects and redshift evolution can significantly skew any subsequent analysis. We correct for important variables related to the GRB emission, such as the burst duration, T90*, the prompt isotropic energy, Eiso, the rest-frame end time of the plateau emission, Ta,radio*, and its correspondent luminosity La,radio, for radio afterglow. In particular, we use the Efron–Petrosian method presented in 1992 for the correction of our variables of interest. Specifically, we correct Eiso and T90* for 80 GRBs, and La,radio and Ta,radio* for a subsample of 18 GRBs that present a plateau-like flattening in their light curve. Upon application of this method, we find strong evolution with redshift in most variables, particularly in La,radio, with values similar to those found in past and current literature in radio, X-ray and optical wavelengths, indicating that these variables are susceptible to observational bias. This analysis emphasizes the necessity of correcting observational data for evolutionary effects to obtain the intrinsic behavior of correlations to use them as discriminators among the most plausible theoretical models and as reliable cosmological tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gamma-Ray Burst Science in 2030)
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Article
A Brown Dwarf Companion to the Nova-like Variable RW Tri
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040094 - 05 Nov 2021
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Abstract
The orbital period of Nova-like variable RW Tri is expected to experience a long-term evolution due to a stable mass transfer from the red dwarf to the white dwarf. By adding 297 new eclipse timings obtained from our own observations and a cross-identification [...] Read more.
The orbital period of Nova-like variable RW Tri is expected to experience a long-term evolution due to a stable mass transfer from the red dwarf to the white dwarf. By adding 297 new eclipse timings obtained from our own observations and a cross-identification of many databases, we fully reinvestigated the variations in orbital period of RW Tri, based on a total of 658 data points spanning over 80 years. The new O-C diagram demonstrates a more complicate pattern than a pure sinusoidal modulation shown in the previous O-C analyses. The best fit of the O-C variations is a quadratic-plus-sinusoidal curve with a period of 22.66 (2) years and a typical decrease rate of P˙ = 2d.32(4) × 109 yr1. To explain secular orbital period decrease, the magnetic braking effect is required to cause the orbital angular moment loss in RW Tri with a mass ratio less than unity, while a conserved mass transfer is also enough for RW Tri with a mass ratio larger than unity. No matter what the mass ratio is, a slightly enhanced mass transfer rate, 2.4–5.3 × 109 M yr1, derived from our O-C diagram, providing an evidence supporting the disk instability model and the standard/revised models of cataclysmic variable evolution, is almost the same as that obtained from the light-curve modeling. This further confirms our observed orbital period decrease and the controversial system parameter, mass transfer rate. Our updated O-C analysis further verifies the claimed cyclical changes of orbital period with a period range of 21–24 years, which is approximately one half of the results in the literature. In accordance with the light-travel time effect, this periodical variation shown in our new O-C diagram indicates a brown dwarf hidden in RW Tri at a coplanar orbit. Note that the large scatter in the data range of 0–3 × 104 cycles requires the high-precision photometry in the longer base line in the future. Full article
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Article
Bent It Like FRs: Extended Radio AGN in the COSMOS Field and Their Large-Scale Environment
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040093 - 05 Nov 2021
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Abstract
A fascinating topic in radio astronomy is how to associate the complexity of observed radio structures with their environment in order to understand their interplay and the reason for the plethora of radio structures found in surveys. In this project, we explore the [...] Read more.
A fascinating topic in radio astronomy is how to associate the complexity of observed radio structures with their environment in order to understand their interplay and the reason for the plethora of radio structures found in surveys. In this project, we explore the distortion of the radio structure of Fanaroff–Riley (FR)-type radio sources in the VLA-COSMOS Large Project at 3 GHz and relate it to their large-scale environment. We quantify the distortion by using the angle formed between the jets/lobes of two-sided FRs, namely bent angle (BA). Our sample includes 108 objects in the redshift range 0.08<z<3, which we cross-correlate to a wide range of large-scale environments (X-ray galaxy groups, density fields, and cosmic web probes) in the COSMOS field. The median BA of FRs in COSMOS at zmed∼0.9 is 167.537.5+11.5 degrees. We do not find significant correlations between BA and large-scale environments within COSMOS covering scales from a few kpc to several hundred Mpc, nor between BA and host properties. Finally, we compare our observational data to magnetohydrodynamical (MHD) adaptive-mesh simulations ENZO-MHD of two FR sources at z = 0.5 and at z = 1. Although the scatter in BA of the observed data is large, we see an agreement between observations and simulations in the bent angles of FRs, following a mild redshift evolution with BA. We conclude that, for a given object, the dominant mechanism affecting the radio structures of FRs could be the evolution of the ambient medium, where higher densities of the intergalactic medium at lower redshifts as probed by our study allow more space for jet interactions. Full article
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Article
Polarization Tomography with Stokes Parameters
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 92; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040092 - 05 Nov 2021
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Abstract
We present a simple but powerful technique for the analysis of polarized emission from radio galaxies and other objects. It is based on the fact that images of Stokes parameters often contain considerably more information than is available in polarized intensity and angle [...] Read more.
We present a simple but powerful technique for the analysis of polarized emission from radio galaxies and other objects. It is based on the fact that images of Stokes parameters often contain considerably more information than is available in polarized intensity and angle maps. In general, however, the orientation of the Stokes parameters will not be matched to the position angles of structures in the source. Polarization tomography, the technique presented in this paper, consists of making a series of single linear Stokes parameter images, S(ρ), where each image is rotated by an angle ρ from the initial orientation of Q and U. Examination of these images, in a series of still frames or a movie, reveals often hidden patterns of polarization angles, as well as structures that were obscured by the presence of overlapping polarized emission. We provide both cartoon examples and a quick look at the complex polarized structure in Cygnus A. Full article
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Article
Turning AGN Bubbles into Radio Relics with Sloshing: Modeling CR Transport with Realistic Physics
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040091 - 03 Nov 2021
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Radio relics are arc-like synchrotron sources at the periphery of galaxy clusters, produced by cosmic-ray electrons in a μG magnetic field, which are believed to have been (re-)accelerated by merger shock fronts. However, not all relics appear at the same location as [...] Read more.
Radio relics are arc-like synchrotron sources at the periphery of galaxy clusters, produced by cosmic-ray electrons in a μG magnetic field, which are believed to have been (re-)accelerated by merger shock fronts. However, not all relics appear at the same location as shocks as seen in the X-ray. In a previous work, we suggested that the shape of some relics may result from the pre-existing spatial distribution of cosmic-ray electrons, and tested this hypothesis using simulations by launching AGN jets into a cluster atmosphere with sloshing gas motions generated by a previous merger event. We showed that these motions could transport the cosmic ray-enriched material of the AGN bubbles to large radii and stretch it in a tangential direction, producing a filamentary shape resembling a radio relic. In this work, we improve our physical description for the cosmic rays by modeling them as a separate fluid which undergoes diffusion and Alfvén losses. We find that, including this additional cosmic ray physics significantly diminishes the appearance of these filamentary features, showing that our original hypothesis is sensitive to the modeling of cosmic ray physics in the intracluster medium. Full article
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Article
Third-Generation Calibrations for MeerKAT Observation
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040090 - 03 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Superclusters and galaxy clusters offer a wide range of astrophysical science topics with regards to studying the evolution and distribution of galaxies, intra-cluster magnetization mediums, cosmic ray accelerations and large scale diffuse radio sources all in one observation. Recent developments in new radio [...] Read more.
Superclusters and galaxy clusters offer a wide range of astrophysical science topics with regards to studying the evolution and distribution of galaxies, intra-cluster magnetization mediums, cosmic ray accelerations and large scale diffuse radio sources all in one observation. Recent developments in new radio telescopes and advanced calibration software have completely changed data quality that was never possible with old generation telescopes. Hence, radio observations of superclusters are a very promising avenue to gather rich information of a large-scale structure (LSS) and their formation mechanisms. These newer wide-band and wide field-of-view (FOV) observations require state-of-the-art data analysis procedures, including calibration and imaging, in order to provide deep and high dynamic range (DR) images with which to study the diffuse and faint radio emissions in supercluster environments. Sometimes, strong point sources hamper the radio observations and limit the achievement of a high DR. In this paper, we have shown the DR improvements around strong radio sources in the MeerKAT observation of the Saraswati supercluster by applying newer third-generation calibration (3GC) techniques using CubiCal and killMS software. We have also calculated the statistical parameters to quantify the improvements around strong radio sources. This analysis advocates for the use of new calibration techniques to maximize the scientific returns from new-generation telescopes. Full article
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Article
Searching for High-z Radio Galaxies with the MGCLS
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040089 - 02 Nov 2021
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Abstract
We present the results from a search for high-redshift radio galaxy (HzRG) candidates using 1.28 GHz data in the Abell 2751 field drawn from the MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey (MGCLS). We used the HzRG criteria that a radio [...] Read more.
We present the results from a search for high-redshift radio galaxy (HzRG) candidates using 1.28 GHz data in the Abell 2751 field drawn from the MeerKAT Galaxy Cluster Legacy Survey (MGCLS). We used the HzRG criteria that a radio source is undetected in all-sky optical and infrared catalogues and that it has a very steep radio spectrum. We used the likelihood ratio method for cross-matching the radio catalogue against multi-wavelength galaxy catalogues from the Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey (DECaLS) and the All-sky Wide Infrared Survey Explorer (AllWISE). For those radio sources with no multi-wavelength counterpart, we further implemented a radio spectral index criterium of α<1, using in-band spectral index measurements from the wide-band MeerKAT data. Using a 5σ signal-to-noise cut on the radio flux densities, we found a total of 274 HzRG candidates: 179 ultra-steep spectrum sources and 95 potential candidates, which could not be ruled out as they had no spectral information available. The spectral index assignments in this work were complete above a flux density of 0.3 mJy, which is at least an order of magnitude lower than existing studies in this frequency range or when extrapolating from lower frequency limits. Our faintest HzRG candidates with and without an in-band spectral index measurement had a 1.28 GHz flux density of 57 ± 8 μJy and 68 ± 13 μJy, respectively. Although our study is not complete down to these flux densities, our results indicate that the sensitivity and bandwidth of the MGCLS data make them a powerful radio resource to search for HzRG candidates in the Southern sky, with 20 of the MGCLS pointings having similar image quality as the Abell 2751 field and full coverage in both DECaLS and AllWISE. Data at additional radio frequencies will be needed for the faintest source populations, which could be provided in the near future by the MeerKAT UHF band (580–1015 MHz) at a similar resolution (∼8–10″). Full article
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Article
Combining LOFAR and Apertif Data for Understanding the Life Cycle of Radio Galaxies
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040088 - 02 Nov 2021
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Abstract
Active galactic nuclei (AGN) at the centres of galaxies can cycle between periods of activity and of quiescence. Characterising the duty-cycle of AGN is crucial for understanding their impact on the evolution of the host galaxy. For radio AGN, their evolutionary stage can [...] Read more.
Active galactic nuclei (AGN) at the centres of galaxies can cycle between periods of activity and of quiescence. Characterising the duty-cycle of AGN is crucial for understanding their impact on the evolution of the host galaxy. For radio AGN, their evolutionary stage can be identified from a combination of morphological and spectral properties. We summarise the results we have obtained in the last few years by studying radio galaxies in various crucial phases of their lives, such as remnant and restarted sources. We used morphological information derived from LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) images at 150 MHz, combined with resolved spectral indices maps, obtained using recently released images at 1400 MHz from the APERture Tile In Focus (Apertif) phased-array feed system installed on the Westerbork Synthesis Radio Telescope. Our study, limited so far to the Lockman Hole region, has identified radio galaxies in the dying and restarted phases. We found large varieties in their properties, relevant for understanding their evolutionary stage. We started by quantifying their occurrences, the duration of the ‘on’ (active) and ‘off’ (dying) phase, and we compared the results with models of the evolution of radio galaxies. In addition to these extreme phases, the resolved spectral index images can also reveal interesting secrets about the evolution of apparently normal radio galaxies. The spectral information can be connected with, and used to improve, the Fanaroff–Riley classification, and we present one example of this, illustrating what the combination of the LOFAR and Apertif surveys now allow us to do routinely. Full article
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Article
Viewing Classical Radio Galaxies with the Upgraded GMRT and MeerKAT—A Progress Report
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 87; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040087 - 29 Oct 2021
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Abstract
We present a progress report of a study of FR I and FR II radio galaxies. Several new morphological features in the radio emission are now revealed using the high (μJy) sensitivity reached in the range 550–1712 MHz, more than a [...] Read more.
We present a progress report of a study of FR I and FR II radio galaxies. Several new morphological features in the radio emission are now revealed using the high (μJy) sensitivity reached in the range 550–1712 MHz, more than a factor of three, at the high (∼47) angular resolution with the upgraded Giant Metrewave Radio Telescope (uGMRT) and MeerKAT. Therefore, the aim of this study is to understand if we need to revise our current classification scheme for classical radio galaxies. In order to address our goals, we have carefully constructed a sample of 14 (6 FR I, 6 FR II and 2 FR 0) radio galaxies. The uGMRT and MeerKAT images of our four target sources revealed a wealth of morphological details, e.g., filamentary structure in the emission from the lobes, misalignments, radio emission beyond the hot-spots in three sources, etc.; see Fanaroff et al. (2021). Here, we present preliminary results for two more radio galaxies from our sample using uGMRT, in the light of the local environment. Finally, we are awaiting uGMRT and MeerKAT observations of remaining sample sources. Our results show that for the radio galaxies in this study, the morphological classification scheme for the classical FR I/FR II radio galaxies still holds, even with the improved imaging capabilities of the uGMRT and MeerKAT. Furthermore, we need to be cautious when using automated procedures for classification schemes, e.g., in surveys (with poorer sensitivities and angular resolutions) because of the rich morphological details that are shown in our uGMRT and MeerKAT images. Full article
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Article
Exploring New Redshift Indicators for Radio-Powerful AGN
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040086 - 29 Oct 2021
Viewed by 302
Abstract
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are relevant sources of radiation that might have helped reionising the Universe during its early epochs. The super-massive black holes (SMBHs) they host helped accreting material and emitting large amounts of energy into the medium. Recent studies have shown [...] Read more.
Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) are relevant sources of radiation that might have helped reionising the Universe during its early epochs. The super-massive black holes (SMBHs) they host helped accreting material and emitting large amounts of energy into the medium. Recent studies have shown that, for epochs earlier than z5, the number density of SMBHs is on the order of few hundreds per square degree. Latest observations place this value below 300 SMBHs at z6 for the full sky. To overcome this gap, it is necessary to detect large numbers of sources at the earliest epochs. Given the large areas needed to detect such quantities, using traditional redshift determination techniques—spectroscopic and photometric redshift—is no longer an efficient task. Machine Learning (ML) might help obtaining precise redshift for large samples in a fraction of the time used by other methods. We have developed and implemented an ML model which can predict redshift values for WISE-detected AGN in the HETDEX Spring Field. We obtained a median prediction error of σzN=1.48×(zPredictedzTrue)/(1+zTrue)=0.1162 and an outlier fraction of η=11.58% at (zPredictedzTrue)/(1+zTrue)>0.15, in line with previous applications of ML to AGN. We also applied the model to data from the Stripe 82 area obtaining a prediction error of σzN=0.2501. Full article
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Article
Radio Galaxy Classification: #Tags, Not Boxes
Galaxies 2021, 9(4), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/galaxies9040085 - 29 Oct 2021
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Abstract
After six decades of studying radio galaxies, we are now delightfully overwhelmed by their exponentially expanding numbers and the complexity of their structures. Similarly, the methods we use to classify radio galaxies have exploded, often resulting in conflicting terminology, ambiguous classifications, and historical [...] Read more.
After six decades of studying radio galaxies, we are now delightfully overwhelmed by their exponentially expanding numbers and the complexity of their structures. Similarly, the methods we use to classify radio galaxies have exploded, often resulting in conflicting terminology, ambiguous classifications, and historical schemes that may or may not match our current physical understanding. After discussions with more than 100 radio astronomers over the last several years and listening to their ideas and aspirations, I propose that we reconceptualize the classification of radio galaxies. Instead of trying to place them into “boxes”, we should assign them #tags, a system that is easy to understand and apply, that is flexible and evolving, and that can accommodate conflicting ideas with respect to what is relevant and important. Here, I outline the basis of such a #tag system; the rest is up to the community. Full article
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