Laboratoire d’Études du Rayonnement et de la Matière en Astrophysique et Atmosphères

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LERMA presentation

par Murielle Chevrier - publié le , mis à jour le

LERMA (Laboratory for Studies of Radiation and Matter in Astrophysics and Atmospheres) is a research entity operated by CNRS and 3 higher education institutions : Observatoire de Paris (OP), Sorbonne University (SU), and Cergy Paris University (CYU). These 3 institutions host the various research groups of LERMA.

Organisation of the laboratory and research topics
LERMA is organized in 4 Research Poles, complemented by 1 transverse structure dedicated to Technology and Research Support. Doctoral studies are principally conducted within École doctorale Astronomie et Astrophysique d’Île de France (ED 127), but about half of our PhD students belong to other doctoral schools in physics, engineering and environment (ED 129, 391, 389, Ed-PIF et 417).

"Galaxies and Cosmology" (OP)

  • Early Universe
  • Galaxy formation and dynamics
  • Clusters of galaxies
  • Dark matter
  • Active galactic nuclei, star formation and feedback in galaxies

"Dynamics of the Interstellar Medium and Stellar Plasmas" (OP, SU)

  • Observational characterization of the ISM cycle
  • Modeling ISM evolution from diffuse gas to stars and disks
  • Chemical diagnostics of ISM dynamics
  • Turbulent and radiative transport in (circum)stellar plasmas
  • Experimental studies of (circum)stellar plasmas

"Molecules in the Universe" (CYU, OP, SU)

  • Gas-surface interactions
  • Gas-phase molecular processes
  • Exotic isotopic spin ratios
  • Molecular parameters for planetary, terrestrial atmospheres and ISM

"Instrumentation Terahertz and Remote Sensing" (OP)

  • THz components and subsystems
  • THz heterodyne instruments
  • Characterization of clear, cloudy, and rainy atmospheres
  • Characterization of Earth, planets, and comets
  • Data processing, storage and diffusion

Personnel (as of April 2020)

  • 38 engineers and technicians (including 4 under contract)
  • 7 astronomers (including 1emeriti)
  • 30 teaching researchers (including 4 emeriti)
  • 20 researchers (including 5 emeriti and 1 under contract)
  • 6 post-doctoral fellows
  • 20 PhD students

Salient results

  • The earliest phase of star formation, captured through its bipolar ejection activity (Gerin et al. 2015 A&A 577, L2). La toute première étape de la formation d’une étoile, révélée par son éjection bipolaire (Gerin et al. 2015 A&A 577, L2).
  • New method for measuring the diffusion and desorption energy of atoms and (Minissale, M., Congiu, E., & Dulieu, F. 2016, A&A, 585 A146). Nouvelle méthode pour mesurer l’énergie de diffusion et de désorption des atomes et radicaux (Minissale, M., Congiu, E., & Dulieu, F. 2016, A&A, 585 A146).
  • First results on a 1200 GHz Schottky receiver prototype for JUICE-SWI (Maestrini, A., et al 2016). Les premiers résultats sur le prototype de récepteur Schottky à 1200 GHz pour JUICE-SWI (Maestrini, A., et al 2016).

Séminaires à venir

Vendredi 23 avril 2021, 14h00
Visioconférence, VIDEO
A stellar graveyard in the core of a globular cluster
résumé :
The ubiquity of supermassive black holes in massive galaxies suggests the existence of intermediate-mass ones (IMBHs) in smaller systems. However, IMBHs are at best rare in dwarf galaxies and not convincingly seen in globular clusters. We embarked on a search for such an IMBH in a very nearby core-collapsed globular cluster, NGC 7397. For this we ran extensive mass-orbit modeling with our Bayesian MAMPOSSt-PM code that fits mass and velocity anisotropy models to the distribution of observed tracers in 4D projected phase space. We used a combination of proper motions from HST and Gaia, supplemented with redshifts from MUSE. We found very strong Bayesian evidence for an excess of unseen mass in the core of the cluster amounting to 1 to 2% of the cluster mass. But surprisingly, we found rather strong evidence that this excess mass is not point-like but has a size of roughly 3% of that of the cluster. Our conclusion is robust to our adopted surface density profile and on our modeling of the velocity anisotropy, as the data suggest isotropic orbits throughout the cluster. It is also robust to our use of one or two classes of Main Sequence stars (given the mass segregation in collisional systems such as clusters), as well as on our filtering for quality data. The expected mass segregation suggests that the excess mass is made of objects heavier than Main Sequence stars: white dwarfs, neutron stars and possibly stellar black holes, all of which lost their orbital energy by dynamical friction to end up in the cluster core. I will discuss the evidence for and against the possibility that most of the unseen mass in the center is in the form of such black holes, as well as the consequences of this intriguing possibility.
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