References of "Smette, Alain"
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See detailIdentification and redshift determination of quasi-stellar objects with medium-band photometry: application to Gaia
Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Smette, Alain; Vandenbulcke, Luc ULg et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2006), 367(3), 879-904

All-sky, multicolour, medium deep (V similar or equal to 20) surveys have the potentiality of detecting several hundred thousands of quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). Spectroscopic confirmation is not ... [more ▼]

All-sky, multicolour, medium deep (V similar or equal to 20) surveys have the potentiality of detecting several hundred thousands of quasi-stellar objects (QSOs). Spectroscopic confirmation is not possible for such a large number of objects, so that secure photometric identification and precise photometric determination of redshifts (and other spectral features) become mandatory. This is especially the case for the Gaia mission, in which QSOs play the crucial role of fixing the celestial referential frame, and in which more than 900 gravitationally lensed QSOs should be identified. We first built two independent libraries of synthetic QSO spectra reflecting the most important variations in the spectra of these objects. These libraries are publicly available for simulations with any instrument and photometric system. Traditional template fitting and artificial neural networks (ANNs) are compared to identify QSOs among the population of stars using broad- and medium-band photometry (BBP and MBP, respectively). Besides those two methods, a new one, based on the spectral principal components (SPCs), is also introduced to estimate the photometric redshifts. Generic trends as well as results specifically related to Gaia observations are given. We found that (i) ANNs can provide clean, uncontaminated QSO samples suitable for the determination of the reference frame, but with a level of completeness decreasing from similar or equal to 50 per cent at the Galactic pole at V= 18 to similar or equal to 16 per cent at V= 20; (ii) the chi(2) approach identifies about 90 per cent (60 per cent) of the observed QSOs at V= 18 (V= 20), at the expense of a higher stellar contamination rate, reaching similar or equal to 95 per cent in the galactic plane at V= 20. Extinction is a source of confusion and makes difficult the identification of QSOs in the galactic plane and (iii) the chi(2) method is better than ANNs to estimate the photometric redshifts. Due to colour degeneracies, the largest median absolute error (vertical bar Delta z vertical bar(Median)similar or equal to 0.2) is predicted in the range 0.5 < z(spec) < 2. The method based on the SPCs is promisingly good at recovering the redshift, in particular for V < 19 and z < 2.5 QSOs. For bright (V less than or similar to 18) QSOs, SPCs are also able to recover the spectral shape from the BBP and MBP data. [less ▲]

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See detailThe XMM-LSS survey. Survey design and first results
Pierre, Marguerite; Valtchanov, Ivan; Altieri, Bruno et al

in Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics [= JCAP] (2004), 09

The XMM Large Scale Structure survey (XMM-LSS) is a medium deep large area X-ray survey. Its goal is to extend large scale structure investigations attempted using ROSAT cluster samples to two redshift ... [more ▼]

The XMM Large Scale Structure survey (XMM-LSS) is a medium deep large area X-ray survey. Its goal is to extend large scale structure investigations attempted using ROSAT cluster samples to two redshift bins between 0<z<1 while maintaining the precision of earlier studies. Two main goals have constrained the survey design: the evolutionary study of the cluster cluster correlation function and of the cluster number density. The adopted observing configuration consists of an equatorial mosaic of 10 ks pointings, separated by 20^\prime and covering 8° à 8°, giving a pointsource sensitivity of {\sim } 5\times 10^{-15}~{\mathrm {erg~cm^{-2}~s^{-1}}} in the 0.5 2 keV band. This will yield more than 800 clusters of galaxies and a sample of X-ray AGN with a space density of about 300 deg[SUP]-2[/SUP]. We present the expected cosmological implications of the survey in the context of LgrCDM models and cluster evolution. We give an overview of the first observational results. The XMM-LSS survey is associated with several other major surveys, ranging from the UV to the radio wavebands, which will provide the necessary resources for X-ray source identification and further statistical studies. In particular, the associated CFHTLS weak lensing and AMiBA Sunyaev Zel'dovich surveys over the entire XMM-LSS area will provide for the first time a comprehensive study of the mass distribution and of cluster physics in the universe on scales of a few hundred Mpc. We describe the main characteristics of our wavelet-based X-ray pipeline and source identification procedures, including the classification of the cluster candidates by means of a photometric redshift analysis. This permits the selection of suitable targets for spectroscopic follow-up. We present preliminary results from the first 25 XMM-LSS pointings: X-ray source properties, optical counterparts, and highlights from the first Magellan and VLT/FORS2 spectroscopic runs as well as preliminary results from the NIR search for z>1 clusters. The results are promising and, so far, in accordance with our predictions. In particular: (1) we reproduce the logN logS distribution for point sources obtained from deeper surveys at our sensitivity; (2) we find a cluster number density of 15 20 deg[SUP]-2[/SUP] (3) for the first time, we statistically sample the group mass regime at a redshift out to {\sim } 0.5 . Paper based on observations obtained with the XMM,CFH, ESO (Prg: P70. A-0283 .A-0733), VLA, CTIO and Las Campanas observatories. [less ▲]

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See detailHST observations of the QSO pair Q1026-0045A,B
Petitjean, Patrick; Surdej, Jean ULg; Smette, Alain et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (1998), 334

The spatial distribution of the Lyalpha forest is studied using new HST data for the quasar pair Q 1026-0045 A and B at z_em = 1.438 and 1.520 respectively. The angular separation is 36 arcsec and ... [more ▼]

The spatial distribution of the Lyalpha forest is studied using new HST data for the quasar pair Q 1026-0045 A and B at z_em = 1.438 and 1.520 respectively. The angular separation is 36 arcsec and corresponds to transverse linear separations between lines of sight of ~ 300h(-1}_{50) kpc (q_o = 0.5) over the redshift range 0.833 < z < 1.438. From the observed numbers of coincident and anti-coincident Lyalpha absorption lines, we conclude that, at this redshift, the Lyalpha structures have typical dimensions of ~ 500h(-1}_{50) kpc, larger than the mean separation of the two lines of sight. The velocity difference, Delta V, between coincident lines is surprisingly small (4 and 8 pairs with Delta V < 50 and 200 km s(-1) respectively). Metal line systems are present at z_abs = 1.2651 and 1.2969 in A, z_abs = 0.6320, 0.7090, 1.2651 and 1.4844 in B. In addition we tentatively identify a weak Mg ii system at z_abs = 0.11 in B. It is remarkable that the z_abs = 1.2651 system is common to both lines of sight. The system at z_abs = 1.4844 has strong O vi absorption. There is a metal-poor associated system at z_abs = 1.4420 along the line of sight to A with complex velocity profile. We detect a strong Lyalpha absorption along the line of sight to B redshifted by only 300 km s(-1) relatively to the associated system. It is tempting to interpret this as the presence of a disk of radius larger than 300h(-1}_{50) kpc surrounding quasar A. Based on observations obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555 [less ▲]

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See detailDamped LYalpha Absorbers and Gravitational Lensing
Smette, Alain; Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Surdej, Jean ULg

in Structure and Evolution of the Intergalactic Medium from QSO Absorption Line System, Proceedings of the 13th IAP Astrophysics Colloquium (1997)

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See detailGravitational lensing by damped Ly-alpha absorbers
Smette, Alain; Claeskens, Jean-François ULg; Surdej, Jean ULg

in New Astronomy (1997), 2

Assuming that (i) damped Ly-alpha absorbers (DLAs) arise in present-day-like spiral galaxies which are immersed in isothermal dark matter halos, (ii) that these galaxies obey the Tully-Fisher sigma/sigma ... [more ▼]

Assuming that (i) damped Ly-alpha absorbers (DLAs) arise in present-day-like spiral galaxies which are immersed in isothermal dark matter halos, (ii) that these galaxies obey the Tully-Fisher sigma/sigma_* = (L/L_*)^1/alpha_TF and the Holmberg R_L/R_* = (L/L_*)^alpha_H relations, and (iii) that they follow the Schechter luminosity distribution, we describe how their observed number density (dN/dz), distribution of column density (f(N)) as well as inferred cosmological density of HI (Omega_HI) derived from DLA surveys are affected by gravitational lensing (GL). The `by-pass' effect causes the lines-of-sight (LOSs) towards background QSOs to avoid the central parts of galaxies and reduces their effective cross-section for absorption; the `amplification bias' leads observers to select QSOs whose LOSs preferentially cross galaxies close to their Einstein radius. As a consequence, the determination of the quantities dN/dz, f(N) and Omega_HI from DLA surveys does not only depend on the redshift z and luminosity L of galaxies responsible for the absorbers but also on the column density profile of HI within the galaxies and on the redshift z_q and magnitude b_q of the background QSOs. For most of the existing surveys using b_q <~ 19 QSOs, the amplification bias dominates the combined effect resulting in a slight overestimate of dN/dz, f(N) and Omega_HI. We mainly find that observational strategies presently used to produce high-z DLA surveys result in avoiding the signature of significant GL effects: following our model, we determine that an overestimate of Omega_HI by more than 10% is unlikely for the z > 1.7 existing surveys, but may reach ~= 35% for the low redshift ones. However, we show that, in the absence of extinction by dust and micro-lensing effects, surveys ideally designed to enhance GL effects, i.e. to search for DLAs at z ~ 0.5 in front of very bright (b_q ~= 16), high-z (z_q > 1) QSOs, may lead 1) to overestimate by up to ~= 90% the number of DLAs per unit redshift; 2) to bias the survey towards high HI column density systems so that it could contain up to 4 times as many such systems, thus 3) to overestimate by up to ~= 170% the cosmological density of gas associated with those DLAs. Identification of the galaxies responsible for the DLAs may be severely biased towards luminous galaxies if 2/alpha_TF - alpha_H>0 this latter effect is greatly increased for log N_HI > 21 DLAs. Hence, GL effects on the quantities derived from surveys for z ~ 0.5 DLAs are of the same order, but of opposite direction, as the effects of extinction by dust (cf. Fall & Pei, 1993). However, the GL and dust extinction effects do not compensate each other: combining them in a consistent way is necessary to interpret existing DLA surveys. Furthermore, the effects due to micro-lensing should be simultaneously taken into account. We intend to report the results on the complex interplay between macro-lensing, micro-lensing and dust in a subsequent paper. We briefly present statistical tests specifically designed to check whether GL affects existing DLA surveys, and assuming that extinction by dust is negligible. We only find indications of GL effects for the z < 1 ones which, if confirmed, might even be stronger than predicted by our model. We show that an independent work on the same subject by Bartelmann & Loeb (1996) incorrectly treats the inclination effects for the intervening galaxies, thus undermining some of their main results and conclusions. [less ▲]

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