VLA Reveals Spectacular “Halos” of Spiral Galaxies

A study of spiral galaxies seen edge-on has revealed that “halos” of cosmic rays and magnetic fields above and below the galaxies’ disks are much more common than previously thought.

cascafinalHSTdiskMedianhalo

Composite image of an edge-on spiral galaxy with a radio halo produced by fast-moving particles in the galaxy’s magnetic field. In this image, the large, grey-blue area is a single image formed by combining the radio halos of 30 different galaxies, as seen with the Very Large Array. At the center is a visible-light image of one of the galaxies, NGC 5775, made using the Hubble Space Telescope. This visible-light image shows only the inner part of the galaxy’s star-forming region, outer portions of which extend horizontally into the area of the radio halo.

IMAGE CREDIT: Jayanne English (U. Manitoba), with support from Judith Irwin and Theresa Wiegert (Queen’s U.) for the CHANG-ES consortium; NRAO/AUI/NSF; NASA/STScI

SCIENCE CREDIT: Theresa Wiegert, Judith Irwin and the CHANG-ES consortium.

An international team of astronomers used the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to study 35 edge-on spiral galaxies at distances from 11 million to 137 million light-years from Earth. The study took advantage of the ability of the VLA, following completion of a decade-long upgrade project, to detect radio emission much fainter than previously possible.

“We knew before that some halos existed, but, using the full power of the upgraded VLA and the full power of some advanced image-processing techniques, we found that these halos are much more common among spiral galaxies than we had realized,” said Judith Irwin, of Queen’s University in Canada, leader of the project.

Spiral galaxies, like our own Milky Way, have the vast majority of their stars, gas, and dust in a flat, rotating disk with spiral arms. Most of the light and radio waves seen with telescopes come from objects in that disk. Learning about the environment above and below such disks has been difficult.

“Studying these halos with radio telescopes can give us valuable information about a wide range of phenomena, including the rate of star formation within the disk, the winds from exploding stars, and the nature and origin of the galaxies’ magnetic fields,” said Theresa Wiegert, also of Queen’s University, lead author of a paper in the Astronomical Journal reporting the team’s findings. The paper provides the first analysis of data from all 35 galaxies in the study.

To see how extensive a “typical” halo is, the astronomers scaled their images of 30 of the galaxies to the same diameter, then another of the authors, Jayanne English, of the University of Manitoba in Canada, combined them into a single image. The result, said Irwin, is “a spectactular image showing that cosmic rays and magnetic fields not only permeate the galaxy disk itself, but extend far above and below the disk.”

The combined image, the scientists said, confirms a prediction of such halos made in 1961.

Along with the report on their findings, the astronomers also are making their first batch of specialized VLA images available to other researchers. In previous publications, the team described the details of their project and its goals. The team has completed a series of VLA observations and their latest paper is based on analysis of their first set of images. They now are analyzing additional datasets, and also will make those additional images available to other scientists when they publish the results of the later analyses.

With the data from their study made public, “others can do their own analysis to explore other aspects of these halos and what they can tell us about galaxies and their evolution,” said Marita Krause of the Max-Planck Institute for Radioastronomy in Bonn, Germany.

The data are available at: http://queensu.ca/changes

The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation, operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. This work was supported by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Original press release: <a href=”https://public.nrao.edu/news/pressreleases/galaxy-halos”>https://public.nrao.edu/news/pressreleases/galaxy-halos</a>.

Faculty position: Canada Research Chair Tier II

The Saint Mary’s University Department of Astronomy and Physics invites applications from researchers in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics to be the University’s nominee for a Tier II Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Astronomy. Tier-II CRC positions are prestigious appointments established by the government of Canada and designed to attract exceptional emerging researchers who are within ten years of obtaining their PhDs and are acknowledged by their peers as having the potential to become leaders in their field (see www.chairs.gc.ca for details and eligibility criteria). To facilitate research, they carry a substantially reduced teaching load. The successful candidate will be nominated by the University to the CRC Secretariat and, if approved, will be appointed as a regular faculty member to a tenure-track position at the Assistant or Associate Professor level. Collectively, astronomy, computational sciences, and subatomic physics form one of the five major research t
hemes at Saint Mary’s University. The University recognizes the long and continuing record of excellence from the Department in these fields of research and has allocated two Canada Research Chairs to Astronomy (this position as well as a Tier I CRC that is also being filled this year). More details may be found at: http://www.smu.ca/webfiles/SRP-Senateapproved.pdf.

The Department of Astronomy and Physics is the regional centre for astronomy in Atlantic Canada, and consists of ten faculty members, all with active research efforts in observational astronomy, theoretical and computational astrophysics, and experimental subatomic physics. The Department offers both MSc and PhD degrees in astronomy, as well as undergraduate physics and astrophysics programs. Saint Mary’s University also hosts the Institute for Computational Astrophysics (ICA), an institute focused on promoting computational astrophysics in the broadest possible terms, including the tackling of complex astrophysical phenomena through numerical simulation and advancing discoveries utilizing “big data” from large multinational observational facilities. Astronomers in the Department can apply for observing time on Gemini, CFHT, ALMA, JCMT ASTROSAT and Astro-H, and in the future facilities such as JWST and TMT. ICA members are active in the local HPC consortium, ACEnet, as
well as in Compute Canada, while the subatomic physicists are frequent users of TRIUMF, Jefferson Lab, and other world facilities. For a more complete account of departmental activities, see http://www.ap.smu.ca.

Saint Mary’s is located in the historic port city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, a vibrant, urban community of over 350,000 people. Halifax is a major educational and economic centre for Atlantic Canada and is home to six universities. It is conveniently located close to recreational areas and major urban centres in Canada and the northeastern United States. A public university with over 7,000 students, Saint Mary’s offers a variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The University has gone through significant renewal in the past decade and has over 250 full-time faculty involved in innovative teaching, research and service. For information about the University and the Faculty of Science, please see http://science.smu.ca/.

Saint Mary’s University hires on the basis of merit and is committed to the principles of employment equity. Saint Mary’s University encourages applications from qualified women, visible minorities, Aboriginal people, and people with disabilities. While preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, applications from all qualified applicants will be considered.

The search committee will begin reviewing applications on December 1st, 2015. To be considered, please submit your CV and research plan to the address below, and arrange for three recommendation letters to be sent directly to the same address by that date.

Marcin Sawicki, Chairperson
Department of Astronomy and Physics
Saint Mary’s University Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada B3H 3C3
Email: chair@ap.smu.ca

William and Caroline Herschel Post-Doctoral Fellowship

The astronomy and astrophysics group at McMaster University invites applications for the newly created William and Caroline Herschel Postdoctoral Fellowship. Fellows have the opportunity to pursue an independent research program, though preference will be given to proposals connected to strengths in the group. Research areas within the McMaster astronomy and astrophysics group include computational astrophysics, star formation and interstellar medium physics, stellar astrophysics, planet formation, nearby galaxies, galaxy formation and evolution, and cosmology.

Interested candidates should submit an application (PDF file format) that includes (1) a cover letter, (2) a research proposal of not more  than three pages including references, and (3) a current CV.  Applicants should arrange for two letters of reference to be submitted separately to herschel@physics.mcmaster.ca.

Appointments will initially be for one year, though the fellowship is renewable for an additional year subject to academic review of the candidate. The position will begin in early Fall of 2016. This fellowship carries a competitive salary and benefits package.

Application materials and letters of reference (as well as any questions) should be submitted by email to herschel@physics.mcmaster.ca. Complete applications and separate letters of reference are due by December 1, 2015. Evaluation of applications will begin immediately following the closing date and decisions are expected to be announced in January.

This position will be part of a Collective Agreement for Postdoctoral Fellows, CUPE 3906, Unit#3.

McMaster University is strongly committed to employment equity within its community and to recruiting a diverse faculty and staff. Accordingly, the University especially encourages applications from women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, members of sexual minorities and persons with disabilities.

TMT Second Generation Instrumentation Workshop

Canada is one of the founding members of the Thirty Metre Telescope consortium, having already made significant contributions to the overall design of the observatory.   Canada’s commitment to TMT includes design and construction of the dome and delivering first light instruments NFIRAOS (the Narrow-Field InfraRed Adaptive Optics System) and a portion of IRIS (the Infrared Imaging Spectrograph).

In this workshop, we invite Canadian scientists, engineers, and researchers in industry to participate in a discussion of Canadian interests for the second generation of instruments for the TMT.  As TMT Science Instrumentation Workshops are held regularly by partner countries (see examples here), we propose a discussion to identify Canada’s priorities and options for the future of TMT.    To participate in this workshop, please fill out the registration form available at http://www.uvic.ca/research/centres/arc/events/workshops/index.php.

Dunlap Postdoctoral Fellowships in Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

University of Toronto

Email Submission Address: fellowships@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:fellowships@dunlap.utoronto.ca>

Attention To: Prof. Bryan Gaensler, Director

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto

St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 Canada

Email Address for Inquiries: director@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:director@dunlap.utoronto.ca>

Closing Date for Receipt of Applications: November 15, 2015

_____________________________________________________________________

The University of Toronto invites applications for Dunlap Postdoctoral Fellowships within the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics. This growing unit pursues groundbreaking astronomical research across the electromagnetic spectrum, through innovative approaches to instrumentation, data-driven science and observations, and in close collaboration with Toronto colleagues in the Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (DAA), the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA) and the Center for Planetary Sciences (CPS).

Dunlap Fellows are expected to conduct a program of original research either independently or in collaboration with others at the University, and will be offered professional development and mentoring across a range of areas relevant to a scientific career. Exceptional candidates in instrumentation, software, observations, computation or experimentally-related theoretical topics are encouraged to apply. Fellows have access to laboratories, computing clusters and fabrication facilities, and can propose for additional support for their experimental or computational plans. Dunlap Fellows are also strongly encouraged to participate in the Institute’s outreach and training initiatives. The range of activities and opportunities in research, outreach and training can be seen in the annual reports on the Dunlap Institute’s web site.

The Dunlap Institute, DAA, CITA and CPS together host over 130 staff and students in astronomy, who conduct a diverse research program across instrumentation, observations, computation and theory. The Dunlap Institute is located on a beautiful 19th century campus in the heart of one of the world’s great cities. Rated as having one of the highest standards of living in the world, Toronto offers a huge range of indoor and outdoor pursuits, outstanding food and music, and a vibrant and diverse cultural community.

The Dunlap Institute is committed to a flexible and inclusive workplace. We encourage applications from qualified women and men, members of visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and potential two-body hires.  Subject to immigration regulations, successful candidates will be given the option to take up their Fellowships as part-time appointments (such a request need not be made as part of a candidate’s initial application).

Appointments are initially for two years, with expectation of renewal for up to two further years subject to satisfactory performance. Dunlap Fellowships include an annual salary of CAD $67000 plus generous benefits, a research allowance of CAD $18000 per year, relocation assistance, and the opportunity to request additional research funds from the Dunlap Institute.

The approximate expected starting date is September 1, 2016. Applicants should send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, publication list, and statement of research interests, and arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to fellowships@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:fellowships@dunlap.utoronto.ca> by November 15, 2015. In addition, each applicant must nominate in their cover letter either a Dunlap faculty member (see http://www.dunlap.utoronto.ca/people/faculty/) or associated faculty member (seehttp://www.dunlap.utoronto.ca/people/associated-faculty/) to act as their host. Applicants must ensure that the relevant host sends a brief email to fellowships@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:fellowships@dunlap.utoronto.ca> by November 15, 2015 to confirm their support for the application.

Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

This job is posted in accordance with the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Postdoctoral Position in Astrostatistics – University of Toronto

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics

University of Toronto

Email Submission Address: admin@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:admin@dunlap.utoronto.ca>

Attention To: Alice Chow, Business Officer

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto

50 St. George Street, Toronto, ON M5S 3H4 Canada

Email Address for Inquiries: hlozek@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:hlozek@dunlap.utoronto.ca>

Closing Date for Receipt of Applications: December 1, 2015

Related URLs

Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics: dunlap.utoronto.ca<http://dunlap.utoronto.ca>

Prof Hložek’s WWW page: reneehlozek.moonfruit.com<http://reneehlozek.moonfruit.com>

______________________________________________________________________

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position in astrostatistics within the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, located in downtown Toronto.

The successful candidate will work with Prof Renée Hložek on statistical methods applied to large data sets like those expected from the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). The main areas of focus will be on the analysis and interpretation of LSST-like supernova data and optimisation of the pipeline and design of large optical transient surveys.  Appropriately qualified applicants will also be encouraged to conduct independent research in related areas.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Prof Hložek (hlozek@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:hlozek@dunlap.utoronto.ca>) for additional information before applying.

The Dunlap Institute pursues groundbreaking astronomical research across the electromagnetic spectrum, through innovative approaches to instrumentation, data-driven science and observations, alongside a substantive commitment to outreach and training. The Dunlap Institute is co-located with and has strong ties to the University’s Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics (DAA) and to the Canadian Institute for Theoretical Astrophysics (CITA). These three units together host over 130 staff and students in astronomy, who conduct a diverse research program across instrumentation, observations, computation and theory. The Dunlap Institute is located on a beautiful 19th century campus in the heart of one of the world’s great cities. Rated as having one of the highest standards of living in the world, Toronto offers a huge range of indoor and outdoor pursuits, outstanding food and music, and a vibrant and diverse cultural community.

Candidates must possess a recent PhD or equivalent qualification in astronomy/astrophysics or statistics, and should provide evidence of proficiency in oral and written communication. The initial appointment will be for two years, renewable for additional years subject to satisfactory performance.

The Dunlap Institute is committed to a flexible and inclusive workplace. We encourage applications from qualified women and men, members of visible minorities, aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and potential two-body hires.  Subject to immigration regulations, the successful candidate will be given the option to take up the position as a part-time appointment (such a request need not be made as part of a candidate’s initial application).

The nominal starting date for the position is September 1, 2016, although earlier starting dates are possible. Applicants should provide a cover letter addressing the above selection criteria; a CV and list of publications; a summary of research interests and accomplishments (3 pages maximum); and should arrange to have three letters of reference sent to admin@dunlap.utoronto.ca<mailto:admin@dunlap.utoronto.ca>, all to be received no later than December 1, 2015. Only electronic applications (PDF attachments preferred) will be accepted.

Employment as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Toronto is covered by the terms of the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

This job is posted in accordance with the CUPE 3902 Unit 5 Collective Agreement.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.

Multiple Postdoctoral Fellowships at McGill University

The Astrophysics and Cosmology group at McGill and the McGill Space Institute invite applications for the following Postdoctoral Fellowships at McGill University.

For all fellowships, preference is given to applicants within 3 years of the PhD. All application materials including letters of recommendation must be received by the deadline of December 1st, 2015.

McGill University is committed to diversity and equity within its community. We welcome applications from: women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, and others who may contribute to diversification.
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McGill Space Institute Postdoctoral Fellowships
Application deadline: 1 Dec 2015
Apply online at: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/6521

The McGill Space Institute is a newly formed interdisciplinary center that brings together researchers engaged in space-related research at McGill (http://msi.mcgill.ca). Currently there are 17 active faculty members affiliated with the center, from the Physics, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, and Natural Resource Sciences departments at McGill.

The successful applicant will have a strong research record in theoretical, observational, or experimental work in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, atmospheric science or astrobiology. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, list of publications, statement of research plans (not to exceed 2 pages) which demonstrates how the proposed research program complements current MSI activities, and contact details of 3 referees.

This position offers a competitive salary and will be for two years, with a possible renewal for a third year, dependent on supervisor approval and the availability of funds.

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Postdoctoral Fellowships in Astrophysics at McGill
Application deadline: 1 Dec 2015
Apply online at: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/6531

This fellowship is made possible in part by the endowment of the Lorne Trottier Chair in Astrophysics and Cosmology at McGill.

The McGill Astrophysics group currently includes twelve active faculty members. Research in our group covers theory, observations, and instrumentation, in cosmology, CMB, large scale structure, galaxy clusters, galaxy formation and evolution, active galactic nuclei, gravitational lensing, high energy astrophysics, including ground-based gamma ray astronomy, the physics of compact objects, including multiwavelength observations of magnetars, radio pulsars and accreting neutron stars, nuclear astrophysics, and exoplanets. Further information on these research areas can be found at http://www.astro.physics.mcgill.ca/.

We also have strong ties to the early universe cosmology/high energy theory group. Members of the Astro group are also part of the McGill Space Institute (MSI), a new research centre at McGill University that brings together different areas of space related research across the University.

The successful applicant will have a strong research record in theoretical, observational, or experimental astrophysics. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, list of publications, statement of research interests not to exceed 2 pages, and contact details of 3 referees.

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iREx Postdoctoral Fellowship at McGill University
Application deadline: 1 Dec 2015
Apply online at: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/6532

This fellowship is made possible in part by a generous gift from the Trottier Family Foundation to the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx).

The Institute for Research on Exoplanets includes 7 faculty members and 4 postdoctoral researchers at the University of Montreal and McGill University. The group is comprised of instrument builders, observers, and theorists. Our research encompasses the formation, detection and characterization of exoplanets. Further information on these research areas can be found at http://www.exoplanetes.umontreal.ca/?lang=en.

McGill professors Cowan and Cumming are also part of the McGill Space Institute (MSI). This new research centre brings together different areas of space-related research, including planetary sciences and astrobiology.

The successful applicant will have a strong research record in exoplanet research. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae, list of publications, statement of research interests not to exceed 2 pages, and contact details of 3 referees.

CASCA Board statement on the University of California at Berkeley sexual harassment case

The Board of Directors of the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA) is appalled by the recent news that Dr. Geoffrey Marcy, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, has been found to have violated the university’s Sexual Harassment Policy over a period of many years. Such behaviour has no place in our professional academic and working environment. We wish to express our concern for the women whose lives, both professional and personal, have been affected adversely by Dr. Marcy’s actions. We also feel that the sanctions that were originally levied by the University of California, Berkeley, against Dr. Marcy were inadequate compared to the damage he has caused to others.

CASCA has an Ethics Statement that states “All people encountered in one’s professional life must be treated with respect and dignity. Discrimination, harassment and abusive behaviours, be it against colleagues, students, or members of the media or the public, are never acceptable.” We have also implemented a code of conduct at our annual scientific meeting, which includes identifying one or more persons in authority and present at the meeting with whom concerns about inappropriate behavior during the meeting may be raised. We will be reviewing our own policies and procedures to identify additional measures that should be taken to protect our members.

Christine Wilson, President, CASCA

 

Faculty Position in Astronomy, University of Victoria

The Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Victoria, invites applications for a tenure track Assistant Professor position in the area of astronomy and astrophysics. The appointment will be effective July 1, 2016.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in physics or astronomy, or related fields, and are expected to possess an exemplary, internationally recognized research record, with exceptional promise for future achievements, and a commitment to graduate and undergraduate education in physics and astronomy. Applicants with an outstanding record in an area of astronomy or astrophysics that will enhance and/or complement the strengths of the astronomy group, and a commitment to excellence in teaching that will enhance the Department’s programs, are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Physics and Astronomy (http://www.uvic.ca/science/physics/) consists of 22 faculty members with research interests in astronomy and astrophysics, particle physics, condensed matter physics, medical physics and ocean physics. The vibrant astronomy group, consisting of seven faculty members, benefits from close relations with the nearby NRC Herzberg facility and its staff, telescopes and instrumentation, and also has full access to all Canadian facilities. The newly formed Astronomy Research Centre (ARC) at the University of Victoria draws membership from the departmental Astronomy group, scientists at NRC Herzberg, and at the nearby TRIUMF laboratory. For more information on the research programs within ARC, see http://www.uvic.ca/arc/.

Applications comprising a CV (including a publication list, and summarizing any teaching experience), a statement of research interests and plans, and confidential letters from three referees should be sent by December 10, 2015, to:

Monica Lee-Bonar, Assistant to the Chair,
Department of Physics and Astronomy
University of Victoria,
PO Box 1700 STN CSC, Victoria BC, V8W 2Y2, Canada
Email: phast@uvic.ca

The University of Victoria is an equity employer and encourages applications from women, persons with disabilities, visible minorities, Aboriginal Peoples, people of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of the University.
Faculty and Librarians at the University of Victoria are governed by the provisions of the Collective Agreement. Members are represented by the University of Victoria Faculty Association (www.uvicfa.ca).

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, in accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

CITA Postdoctoral Fellowship

CITA is a national centre for theoretical astrophysics located at the University of Toronto.  The Institute expects to offer several postdoctoral fellowships of three years.  The starting date will be September 1, 2016.  Funds will be available for travel and other research expenses.  A Ph.D. in any field of theoretical astrophysics is required.  Fellows are expected to carry out original research in theoretical astrophysics under the general supervision of the permanent faculty whose interests include: cosmology, interstellar matter, galaxy, star and planet formation, solar physics, high energy astrophysics, numerical relativity and gravitational waves.

Please apply online at: https://icat.cita.utoronto.ca/pdf

Full job ad: http://www.cita.utoronto.ca/opportunities/post-docs

We only accept electronic submissions.  Applicants will be asked to submit a curriculum vitae, statement of research interests and arrange for three letters of recommendation.  The deadline for applications and all letters of recommendation is November 15, 2015.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from visible minority group members, women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, members of sexual minority groups, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.