We use the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to reduce the uncertainty in the local value of the Hubble constant from 3.3% to 2.4%. The bulk of this improvement comes from new near-infrared (NIR) observations of Cepheid variables in 11 host galaxies of recent type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia), more than doubling the sample of reliable SNe. Ia having a Cepheid-calibrated distance to a total of 19; these in turn leverage the magnitude-redshift relation based on similar to 300 SNe Iaatz < 0.15 All 19 hosts as well as the megamaser system NGC 4258 have been observed with WFC3 in the optical and NIR, thus nullifying cross-instrument zeropoint errors in the relative distance estimates from Cepheids. Other noteworthy improvements include a 33% reduction in the systematic uncertainty in the maser distance to NGC 4258, a larger sample of Cepheids in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a more robust distance to the LMC based on late-type detached eclipsing binaries (DEBs), HST observations of Cepheids in M31, and new HST-based trigonometric parallaxes for Milky Way (MW) Cepheids. We consider four geometric distance calibrations of Cepheids: (i) megamasers in NGC 4258, (ii) 8 DEBs in the LMC, (iii) 15 MW Cepheids with parallaxes measured with HST/FGS, HST/WFC3 spatial scanning and/or Hipparcos, and (iv) 2 DEBs in M31. The Hubble constant from each is 72.25 +/- 2.51, 72.04 +/- 2.67, 76.18 +/- 2.37, and 74.50 +/- 3.27 kms(-1) Mpc(-1), respectively. Our best estimate of H-0 = 73.24 +/- 1.74 kms(-1) Mpc(-1) combines the anchors NGC 4258, MW, and LMC, yielding a 2.4% determination (all quoted uncertainties include fully propagated statistical and systematic components). This value is 3.4 sigma higher than 66.93 +/- 0.62 kms(-1) Mpc(-1) predicted by Lambda CDM with 3 neutrino flavors having a mass of 0.06 eV and the new Planck data, but the discrepancy reduces to 2.1 sigma relative to the prediction of 69.3 +/- 0.7 kms(-1) Mpc(-1) based on the comparably precise combination of WMAP+ACT+SPT+BAO observations, suggesting that systematic uncertainties in CMB radiation measurements may play a role in the tension. If we take the conflict between Planck high-redshift measurements and our local determination of H-0 at face value, one plausible explanation could involve an additional source of dark radiation in the early universe in the range of Delta N-eff approximate to 0.4-1. We anticipate further significant improvements in H-0 from upcoming parallax measurements of long-period MW Cepheids.
We present the result of searches for gravitational waves from 200 pulsars using data from the first observing run of the Advanced LIGO detectors. We find no significant evidence for a gravitational-wave signal from any of these pulsars, but we are able to set the most constraining upper limits yet on their gravitational-wave amplitudes and ellipticities. For eight of these pulsars, our upper limits give bounds that are improvements over the indirect spindown limit values. For another 32, we are within a factor of 10 of the spin-down limit, and it is likely that some of these will be reachable in future runs of the advanced detector. Taken as a whole, these new results improve on previous limits by more than a factor of two.
The remarkable Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data sets from the CANDELS, HUDF09, HUDF12, ERS, and BoRG/HIPPIES programs have allowed us to map the evolution of the rest-frame UV luminosity function (LF) from z similar to 10 to z similar to 4. We develop new color criteria that more optimally utilize the full wavelength coverage from the optical, near-IR, and mid-IR observations over our search fields, while simultaneously minimizing the incompleteness and eliminating redshift gaps. We have identified 5859, 3001, 857, 481, 217, and 6 galaxy candidates at z similar to 4, z similar to 5, z similar to 6, z similar to 7, z similar to 8, and z similar to 10, respectively, from the similar to 1000 arcmin(2) area covered by these data sets. This sample of >10,000 galaxy candidates at z >= 4 is by far the largest assembled to date with HST. The selection of z similar to 4-8 candidates over the five CANDELS fields allows us to assess the cosmic variance; the largest variations are at z >= 7. Our new LF determinations at z similar to 4 and z similar to 5 span a 6 mag baseline and reach to -16 AB mag. These determinations agree well with previous estimates, but the larger samples and volumes probed here result in a more reliable sampling of >L* galaxies and allow us to reassess the form of the UV LFs. Our new LF results strengthen our earlier findings to 3.4 sigma significance for a steeper faint-end slope of the UV LF at z > 4, with a evolving from alpha = -1.64 +/- 0.04 at z similar to 4 to alpha = -2.06 +/- 0.13 at z similar to 7 (and alpha = -2.02 +/- 0.23 at z similar to 8), consistent with that expected from the evolution of the halo mass function. We find less evolution in the characteristic magnitude M* from z similar to 7 to z similar to 4; the observed evolution in the LF is now largely represented by changes in phi*. No evidence for a non-Schechter-like form to the z similar to 4-8 LFs is found. A simple conditional LF model based on halo growth and evolution in the M/L ratio (alpha(1 + z)(-1.5)) of halos provides a good representation of the observed evolution.
We present a robust method to constrain average galaxy star formation rates (SFRs), star formation histories (SFHs), and the intracluster light (ICL) as a function of halo mass. Our results are consistent with observed galaxy stellar mass functions, specific star formation rates (SSFRs), and cosmic star formation rates (CSFRs) from z = 0 to z = 8. We consider the effects of a wide range of uncertainties on our results, including those affecting stellar masses, SFRs, and the halo mass function at the heart of our analysis. As they are relevant to our method, we also present new calibrations of the dark matter halo mass function, halo mass accretion histories, and halo-subhalo merger rates out to z = 8. We also provide new compilations of CSFRs and SSFRs; more recent measurements are now consistent with the buildup of the cosmic stellar mass density at all redshifts. Implications of our work include: halos near 10(12) M-circle dot are the most efficient at forming stars at all redshifts, the baryon conversion efficiency of massive halos drops markedly after z similar to 2.5 (consistent with theories of cold-mode accretion), the ICL for massive galaxies is expected to be significant out to at least z similar to 1-1.5, and dwarf galaxies at low redshifts have higher stellar mass to halo mass ratios than previous expectations and form later than in most theoretical models. Finally, we provide new fitting formulae for SFHs that are more accurate than the standard declining tau model. Our approach places a wide variety of observations relating to the SFH of galaxies into a self-consistent framework based on the modern understanding of structure formation in Lambda CDM. Constraints on the stellar mass-halo mass relationship and SFRs are available for download online.
This is the first of a series of papers presenting the Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics (MESA) Isochrones and Stellar Tracks (MIST) project, a new comprehensive set of stellar evolutionary tracks and isochrones computed using MESA, a state-of-the-art open-source 1D stellar evolution package. In this work, we present models with solar-scaled abundance ratios covering a wide range of ages (5 <= log(Age)[year] <= 10.3), masses (0.1 <= M/M-circle dot <= 300), and metallicities (-2.0 <= [Z/H] <= 0.5). The models are self-consistently and continuously evolved from the pre-main sequence (PMS) to the end of hydrogen burning, the white dwarf cooling sequence, or the end of carbon burning, depending on the initial mass. We also provide a grid of models evolved from the PMS to the end of core helium burning for -4.0 <= [Z/H] < -2.0. We showcase extensive comparisons with observational constraints as well as with some of the most widely used existing models in the literature. The evolutionary tracks and isochrones can be downloaded from the project website at http://waps.cfa.harvard.edu/MIST/.
The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array (NuSTAR) mission, launched on 2012 June 13, is the first focusing high-energy X-ray telescope in orbit. NuSTAR operates in the band from 3 to 79 keV, extending the sensitivity of focusing far beyond the similar to 10 keV high-energy cutoff achieved by all previous X-ray satellites. The inherently low background associated with concentrating the X-ray light enables NuSTAR to probe the hard X-ray sky with a more than 100-fold improvement in sensitivity over the collimated or coded mask instruments that have operated in this bandpass. Using its unprecedented combination of sensitivity and spatial and spectral resolution, NuSTAR will pursue five primary scientific objectives: (1) probe obscured active galactic nucleus (AGN) activity out to the peak epoch of galaxy assembly in the universe (at z less than or similar to 2) by surveying selected regions of the sky; (2) study the population of hard X-ray-emitting compact objects in the Galaxy by mapping the central regions of the Milky Way; (3) study the non-thermal radiation in young supernova remnants, both the hard X-ray continuum and the emission from the radioactive element Ti-44; (4) observe blazars contemporaneously with ground-based radio, optical, and TeV telescopes, as well as with Fermi and Swift, to constrain the structure of AGN jets; and (5) observe line and continuum emission from core-collapse supernovae in the Local Group, and from nearby Type Ia events, to constrain explosion models. During its baseline two-year mission, NuSTAR will also undertake a broad program of targeted observations. The observatory consists of two co-aligned grazing-incidence X-ray telescopes pointed at celestial targets by a three-axis stabilized spacecraft. Deployed into a 600 km, near-circular, 6 degrees inclination orbit, the observatory has now completed commissioning, and is performing consistent with pre-launch expectations. NuSTAR is now executing its primary science mission, and with an expected orbit lifetime of 10 yr, we anticipate proposing a guest investigator program, to begin in late 2014.
Over 100 trigonometric parallaxes and proper motions for masers associated with young, high- mass stars have been measured with the Bar and Spiral Structure Legacy Survey, a Very Long Baseline Array key science project, the European VLBI Network, and the Japanese VLBI Exploration of Radio Astrometry project. These measurements provide strong evidence for the existence of spiral arms in the MilkyWay, accurately locating many arm segments and yielding spiral pitch angles ranging from about 7 degrees to 20 degrees. The widths of spiral arms increase with distance from the Galactic center. Fitting axially symmetric models of the MilkyWay with the three- dimensional position and velocity information and conservative priors for the solar and average source peculiar motions, we estimate the distance to the Galactic center, R-0, to be 8.34 +/- 0.16 kpc, a circular rotation speed at the Sun, Theta(0), to be 240 +/- 8 km s(-1), and a rotation curve that is nearly flat ( i. e., a slope of -0.2 +/- 0.4 km s(-1) kpc(-1)) between Galactocentric radii of approximate to 5 and 16 kpc. Assuming a " universal" spiral galaxy form for the rotation curve, we estimate the thin disk scale length to be 2.44 +/- 0.16 kpc. With this large data set, the parameters R-0 and Theta(0) are no longer highly correlated and are relatively insensitive to different forms of the rotation curve. If one adopts a theoretically motivated prior that high- mass star forming regions are in nearly circular Galactic orbits, we estimate a global solar motion component in the direction of Galactic rotation, V-circle dot = 14.6 +/- 5.0 km s(-1). While Theta(0) and V-circle dot are significantly correlated, the sum of these parameters is well constrained, Theta(0) + V circle dot = 255.2 +/- 5.1 km s(-1), as is the angular speed of the Sun in its orbit about the Galactic center, ( Theta(0) + V-circle dot)/R-0 = 30.57 +/- 0.43 km s(-1) kpc(-1). These parameters improve the accuracy of estimates of the accelerations of the Sun and the Hulse-Taylor binary pulsar in their Galactic orbits, significantly reducing the uncertainty in tests of gravitational radiation predicted by general relativity.
We present an overview of a new integral field spectroscopic survey called MaNGA (Mapping Nearby Galaxies at Apache Point Observatory), one of three core programs in the fourth-generation Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-IV) that began on 2014 July 1. MaNGA will investigate the internal kinematic structure and composition of gas and stars in an unprecedented sample of 10,000 nearby galaxies. We summarize essential characteristics of the instrument and survey design in the context of MaNGA's key science goals and present prototype observations to demonstrate MaNGA's scientific potential. MaNGA employs dithered observations with 17 fiber-bundle integral field units that vary in diameter from 12 '' (19 fibers) to 32 '' (127 fibers). Two dual-channel spectrographs provide simultaneous wavelength coverage over 3600-10300 angstrom at R similar to 2000. With a typical integration time of 3 hr, MaNGA reaches a target r-band signal-to-noise ratio of 4-8 (angstrom(-1) per 2 '' fiber) at 23 AB mag arcsec(-2), which is typical for the outskirts of MaNGA galaxies. Targets are selected with M* greater than or similar to 10(9) M-circle dot using SDSS-I redshifts and i-band luminosity to achieve uniform radial coverage in terms of the effective radius, an approximately flat distribution in stellar mass, and a sample spanning a wide range of environments. Analysis of our prototype observations demonstrates MaNGA's ability to probe gas ionization, shed light on recent star formation and quenching, enable dynamical modeling, decompose constituent components, and map the composition of stellar populations. MaNGA's spatially resolved spectra will enable an unprecedented study of the astrophysics of nearby galaxies in the coming 6 yr.
We present measurements of dust reddening using the colors of stars with spectra in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. We measure reddening as the difference between the measured and predicted colors of a star, as derived from stellar parameters from the Sloan Extension for Galactic Understanding and Exploration Stellar Parameter Pipeline. We achieve uncertainties of 56, 34, 25, and 29 mmag in the colors u - g, g - r, r - i, and i - z, per star, though the uncertainty varies depending on the stellar type and the magnitude of the star. The spectrum-based reddening measurements confirm our earlier "blue tip" reddening measurements, finding reddening coefficients different by -3%, 1%, 1%, and 2% in u - g, g - r, r - i, and i - z from those found by the blue tip method, after removing a 4% normalization difference. These results prefer an R-V = 3.1 Fitzpatrick reddening law to O'Donnell or Cardelli et al. reddening laws. We provide a table of conversion coefficients from the Schlegel et al. (SFD) maps of E(B - V) to extinction in 88 bandpasses for four values of R-V, using this reddening law and the 14% recalibration of SFD first reported by Schlafly et al. and confirmed in this work.
Spectroscopic + photometric redshifts, stellar mass estimates, and rest-frame colors from the 3D-HST survey are combined with structural parameter measurements from CANDELS imaging to determine the galaxy size-mass distribution over the redshift range 0 3 x 10(9) M-circle dot, and steep, R-eff proportional to M-*(0.75), for early-type galaxies with stellar mass >2 x 10(10) M-circle dot. The intrinsic scatter is less than or similar to 0.2 dex for all galaxy types and redshifts. For late-type galaxies, the logarithmic size distribution is not symmetric but is skewed toward small sizes: at all redshifts and masses, a tail of small late-type galaxies exists that overlaps in size with the early-type galaxy population. The number density of massive (similar to 10(11)M(circle dot)), compact (R-eff < 2 kpc) early-type galaxies increases from z = 3 to z 1.5-2 and then strongly decreases at later cosmic times.
We present Advanced Camera for Surveys, NICMOS, and Keck adaptive-optics-assisted photometry of 20 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Cluster Supernova Survey. The SNe Ia were discovered over the redshift interval 0.623 1 SNe Ia. We describe how such a sample could be efficiently obtained by targeting cluster fields with WFC3 on board HST. The updated supernova Union2.1 compilation of 580 SNe is available at http://supernova.lbl.gov/Union.
The third catalog of active galactic nuclei (AGNs) detected by the Fermi-LAT (3LAC) is presented. It is based on the third Fermi-LAT catalog (3FGL) of sources detected between 100 MeV and 300 GeV with a Test Statistic greater than 25, between 2008 August 4 and 2012 July 31. The 3LAC includes 1591 AGNs located at high Galactic latitudes (vertical bar b vertical bar > 10 degrees), a 71% increase over the second catalog based on 2 years of data. There are 28 duplicate associations, thus 1563 of the 2192 high-latitude gamma-ray sources of the 3FGL catalog are AGNs. Most of them (98%) are blazars. About half of the newly detected blazars are of unknown type, i.e., they lack spectroscopic information of sufficient quality to determine the strength of their emission lines. Based on their gamma-ray spectral properties, these sources are evenly split between flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs) and BL Lacs. The most abundant detected BL Lacs are of the high-synchrotron-peaked (HSP) type. About 50% of the BL Lacs have no measured redshifts. A few new rare outliers (HSP-FSRQs and high-luminosity HSP BL Lacs) are reported. The general properties of the 3LAC sample confirm previous findings from earlier catalogs. The fraction of 3LAC blazars in the total population of blazars listed in BZCAT remains non-negligible even at the faint ends of the BZCAT-blazar radio, optical, and X-ray flux distributions, which hints that even the faintest known blazars could eventually shine in gamma-rays at LAT-detection levels. The energy-flux distributions of the different blazar populations are in good agreement with extrapolation from earlier catalogs.
We detect a weak unidentified emission line at E = (3.55-3.57) +/- 0.03 keV in a stacked XMM-Newton spectrum of 73 galaxy clusters spanning a redshift range 0.01-0.35. When the full sample is divided into three subsamples (Perseus, Centaurus+Ophiuchus+Coma, and all others), the line is seen at >3 sigma statistical significance in all three independent MOS spectra and the PN "all others" spectrum. It is also detected in the Chandra spectra of the Perseus Cluster. However, it is very weak and located within 50-110 eV of several known lines. The detection is at the limit of the current instrument capabilities. We argue that there should be no atomic transitions in thermal plasma at this energy. An intriguing possibility is the decay of sterile neutrino, a long-sought dark matter particle candidate. Assuming that all dark matter is in sterile neutrinos with m(s) = 2 E = 7.1 keV, our detection corresponds to a neutrino decay rate consistent with previous upper limits. However, based on the cluster masses and distances, the line in Perseus is much brighter than expected in this model, significantly deviating from other subsamples. This appears to be because of an anomalously bright line at E = 3.62 keV in Perseus, which could be an Ar XVII dielectronic recombination line, although its emissivity would have to be 30 times the expected value and physically difficult to understand. Another alternative is the above anomaly in the Ar line combined with the nearby 3.51 keV K line also exceeding expectation by a factor of 10-20. Confirmation with Astro-H will be critical to determine the nature of this new line.
We present an improved estimate of the occurrence rate of small planets orbiting small stars by searching the full four-year Kepler data set for transiting planets using our own planet detection pipeline and conducting transit injection and recovery simulations to empirically measure the search completeness of our pipeline. We identified 156 planet candidates, including one object that was not previously identified as a Kepler Object of Interest. We inspected all publicly available follow-up images, observing notes, and centroid analyses, and corrected for the likelihood of false positives. We evaluated the sensitivity of our detection pipeline on a star-by-star basis by injecting 2000 transit signals into the light curve of each target star. For periods shorter than 50 days, we find 0.56(-0.05)(+0.06) Earth-size planets (1-1.5 R-circle plus) and 0.46(-0.05)(+0.07) super-Earths (1.5-2 R-circle plus) per M dwarf. In total, we estimate a cumulative planet occurrence rate of 2.5 +/- 0.2 planets per M dwarf with radii 1-4 R-circle plus and periods shorter than 200 days. Within a conservatively defined habitable zone (HZ) based on the moist greenhouse inner limit and maximum greenhouse outer limit, we estimate an occurrence rate of 0.16(-0.07)(+0.17) Earth-size planets and 0.12(-0.05)(+0.10) super-Earths per M dwarf HZ. Adopting the broader insolation boundaries of the recent Venus and early Mars limits yields a higher estimate of 0.24(-0.08)(+0.18) Earth-size planets and 0.21(-0.06)(+0.11) super-Earths per M dwarf HZ. This suggests that the nearest potentially habitable non-transiting and transiting Earth-size planets are 2.6 +/- 0.4 pc and 10.6(-1.8)(+1.6) pc away, respectively. If we include super-Earths, these distances diminish to 2.1 +/- 0.2 pc and 8.6(-0.8)(+0.7) pc.
The Kepler mission is uniquely suited to study the frequencies of extrasolar planets. This goal requires knowledge of the incidence of false positives such as eclipsing binaries in the background of the targets, or physically bound to them, which can mimic the photometric signal of a transiting planet. We perform numerical simulations of the Kepler targets and of physical companions or stars in the background to predict the occurrence of astrophysical false positives detectable by the mission. Using real noise level estimates, we compute the number and characteristics of detectable eclipsing pairs involving main-sequence stars and non-main-sequence stars or planets, and we quantify the fraction of those that would pass the Kepler candidate vetting procedure. By comparing their distribution with that of the Kepler Objects of Interest (KOIs) detected during the first six quarters of operation of the spacecraft, we infer the false positive rate of Kepler and study its dependence on spectral type, candidate planet size, and orbital period. We find that the global false positive rate of Kepler is 9.4%, peaking for giant planets (6-22 R-circle plus) at 17.7%, reaching a low of 6.7% for small Neptunes (2-4 R-circle plus), and increasing again for Earth-size planets (0.8-1.25 R-circle plus) to 12.3%. Most importantly, we also quantify and characterize the distribution and rate of occurrence of planets down to Earth size with no prior assumptions on their frequency, by subtracting from the population of actual Kepler candidates our simulated population of astrophysical false positives. We find that 16.5% +/- 3.6% of main-sequence FGK stars have at least one planet between 0.8 and 1.25 R-circle plus with orbital periods up to 85 days. This result is a significant step toward the determination of eta-earth, the occurrence of Earth-like planets in the habitable zone of their parent stars. There is no significant dependence of the rates of planet occurrence between 0.8 and 4 Earth radii with spectral type. In the process, we also derive a prescription for the signal recovery rate of Kepler that enables a good match to both the KOI size and orbital period distribution, as well as their signal-to-noise distribution.
The gamma-ray sky can be decomposed into individually detected sources, diffuse emission attributed to the interactions of Galactic cosmic rays with gas and radiation fields, and a residual all-sky emission component commonly called the isotropic diffuse gamma-ray background (IGRB). The IGRB comprises all extragalactic emissions too faint or too diffuse to be resolved in a given survey, as well as any residual Galactic foregrounds that are approximately isotropic. The first IGRB measurement with the Large Area Telescope (LAT) on board the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope (Fermi) used 10 months of sky-survey data and considered an energy range between 200 MeV and 100 GeV. Improvements in event selection and characterization of cosmic-ray backgrounds, better understanding of the diffuse Galactic emission (DGE), and a longer data accumulation of 50 months allow for a refinement and extension of the IGRB measurement with the LAT, now covering the energy range from 100 MeV to 820 GeV. The IGRB spectrum shows a significant high-energy cutoff feature and can be well described over nearly four decades in energy by a power law with exponential cutoff having a spectral index of 2.32 +/- 0.02 and a break energy of (279 +/- 52) GeV using our baseline DGE model. The total intensity attributed to the IGRB is (7.2 +/- 0.6) x 10(-6) cm(-2) s(-1) sr(-1) above 100 MeV, with an additional +15%/-30% systematic uncertainty due to the Galactic diffuse foregrounds.
After the All-Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae discovered a significant brightening of the inner region of NGC 2617, we began a similar to 70 day photometric and spectroscopic monitoring campaign from the X-ray through near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. We report that NGC 2617 went through a dramatic outburst, during which its X-ray flux increased by over an order of magnitude followed by an increase of its optical/ultraviolet (UV) continuum flux by almost an order of magnitude. NGC 2617, classified as a Seyfert 1.8 galaxy in 2003, is now a Seyfert 1 due to the appearance of broad optical emission lines and a continuum blue bump. Such "changing look active galactic nuclei (AGNs)" are rare and provide us with important insights about AGN physics. Based on the H beta line width and the radius-luminosity relation, we estimate the mass of central black hole (BH) to be (4 +/- 1) x 10(7)M(circle dot). When we cross-correlate the light curves, we find that the disk emission lags the X-rays, with the lag becoming longer as we move from the UV (2-3 days) to the NIR (6-9 days). Also, the NIR is more heavily temporally smoothed than the UV. This can largely be explained by a simple model of a thermally emitting thin disk around a BH of the estimated mass that is illuminated by the observed, variable X-ray fluxes.
We report the discovery of eight new Milky Way companions in similar to 1800 deg(2) of optical imaging data collected during the first year of the Dark Energy Survey (DES). Each system is identified as a statistically significant over-density of individual stars consistent with the expected isochrone and luminosity function of an old and metal-poor stellar population. The objects span a wide range of absolute magnitudes (M-V from -2.2 to -7.4 mag), physical sizes (10-170 pc), and heliocentric distances (30-330 kpc). Based on the low surface brightnesses, large physical sizes, and/or large Galactocentric distances of these objects, several are likely to be new ultra-faint satellite galaxies of the Milky Way and/or Magellanic Clouds. We introduce a likelihood-based algorithm to search for and characterize stellar over-densities, as well as identify stars with high satellite membership probabilities. We also present completeness estimates for detecting ultra-faint galaxies of varying luminosities, sizes, and heliocentric distances in the first-year DES data.
To study the physical and chemical evolution of ices in solar-mass systems, a spectral survey is conducted of a sample of 41 low-luminosity YSOs (L similar to 0.1-10 L-circle dot) using 3-38 mu m Spitzer and ground-based spectra. The sample is complemented with previously published Spitzer spectra of background stars and with ISO spectra of well-studied massive YSOs (L similar to 10(5) L-circle dot). The long-known 6.0 and 6.85 mu m bands are detected toward all sources, with the Class 0-type YSOs showing the deepest bands ever observed. The 6.0 mu m band is often deeper than expected from the bending mode of pure solid H2O. The additional 5-7 mu m absorption consists of five independent components, which, by comparison to laboratory studies, must be from at least eight different carriers. Much of this absorption is due to simple species likely formed by grain surface chemistry, at abundances of 1%-30% for CH3OH, 3%-8% for NH3, 1%-5% for HCOOH, similar to 6% for H2CO, and similar to 0.3% for HCOO- relative to solid H2O. The 6.85 mu m band has one or two carriers, of which one may be less volatile than H2O. Its carrier(s) formed early in the molecular cloud evolution and do not survive in the diffuse ISM. If an NH4+- containing salt is the carrier, its abundance relative to solid H2O is similar to 7%, demonstrating the efficiency of low-temperature acid-base chemistry or cosmic-ray-induced reactions. Possible origins are discussed for enigmatic, very broad absorption between 5 and 8 mu m. Finally, the same ices are observed toward massive and low-mass YSOs, indicating that processing by internal UV radiation fields is a minor factor in their early chemical evolution.