Carlos VargasGraduate Student NMSUAstronomy
I am deeply interested in uncovering the relation between star formation and the diffuse halo properties of spiral galaxies. I am members of both the Hydrogen Accretion in Local Galaxies Survey (HALOGAS) and Continuum Halos in Nearby Galaxies — an EVLA Survey (CHANG-ES). The two collaborations probe different components of the ISM/CGM of nearby galaxies: cold gas and cosmic rays travelling in magnetic fields. I have conducted a narrowband H-alpha imaging project for 27 of the CHANG-ES galaxies using the ARC 3.5-m Telescope at Apache Point Observatory (APO), and used these images to infer star formation properties of the sample.
In the summer of 2013, I spent four weeks at the Netherlands Institute for Radio Astronomy, in Dwingeloo, The Netherlands, where I collaborated with Dr. George Heald. My work there involved a tilted ring modelling analysis of NGC 4559 with neutral hydrogen observations from the WSRT Hydrogen Accredtion in LOcal GAlaxieS (HALOGAS) survey. This project’s main goal was characterization of the nature and kinematics of extraplanar gas in the halo of NGC 4559. Studying where this extraplanar gas originiates and the mechanisms for its ejection (or accretion) into the halo are fundamental questions that are yet to be definitively answered. The use of deep WSRT 21 cm observations, in conjunction with optical H-alpha imaging can shed light onto how star formation can affect extraplanar gas. This work has been submitted to the Astrophysical Journal for Publication.
From 2010 through 2012 I worked with Professor Eric Gawaiser and Dr. Viviana Aquaviva, using Markov Chain Monte Carlo methods to fit spectral energy distributions (SEDs) to distant galaxy images obtained through the CANDELS collaboration. This work involved studying stellar population synthesis models, in particular for strongly star-forming galaxies, and developing estimates of stellar masses, star formation rates and ages, and wavelength-dependent dust reddening corrections. Also, during this time, I extensively studied the effects of two distinct SED stacking methods on the results of SED fitting. I have also worked to evaluate pipeline products from the WFC-IR, WFC-UVIS, and ACS cameras on the Hubble Space Telescope, as a part of the CANDELS collaboration work.
During 2010 I spent a summer investigating mysterious sources of radio frequency interference on the Small Radio Telescope at Rutgers University.
I am also interested in observational techniques and instrumentation, in general.
CHANG-ES X: Spatially-Resolved Separation of Thermal Contribution from Radio Continuum Emission in Edge-on Galaxies (October 2017, Submitted to ApJ)
Carlos J. Vargas, Silvia Carolina Mora-Partiarroyo, Philip Schmidt, Rich Rand, Yelena Stein, Rene Walterbos, Q. Daniel Wang, et al.
HALOGAS Observations of NGC 4559: Anomalous and Extraplanar HI and its Relation to Star Formation (2017, ApJ)
Carlos J. Vargas, George Heald, Rene Walterbos, Filippo Fraternali, Maria Patterson, Rich Rand, Gyula Jozsa, Gianfranco Gentile, Paolo Serra
To Stack or Not to Stack: Spectral Energy Distribution Properties of Lyman Alpha Emitting Galaxies at z=2.1. (2014, ApJ)
Carlos J. Vargas, Hannah Bish, Viviana Acquaviva, Eric Gawiser, Steve Finkelstein, Lucia Guaita
The Curious Case of Lyman Alpha Emitters: Growing Younger from z ~ 3 to z ~ 2? (2012, ApJL)
Viviana Acquaviva, Carlos Vargas, Eric Gawiser, & Lucia Guaita
CHANG-ES IX: Radio Scale Heights in Relation to the Size, Star Formation, and Magnetic Fields Within a Sample of 13 Edge-on Galaxies
Marita Krause, Judith Irwin, Theresa Wiegert, et al. including Carlos J. Vargas (2017, Submitted to A&A)
Jiangtao Li, Rainer Beck, Ralph-Jurgen Dettmar, George Heald, et al. including Carlos J. Vargas
CANDELS: The Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey—The Hubble Space Telescope Observations, Imaging Data Products, and Mosaics (2011, ApJS)
Anton M. Koekemoer et al. including Carlos J. Vargas
I have attended the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 Winter AAS meetings in Austin, TX, Long Beach, CA, Washington D.C., Seattle, WA, and Grapevine, TX. I gave a dissertation talk at the 2017 meeting, a talk at the 2014 meeting, another talk at the 2013 conference, and a poster at the 2012 conference on various research I was working on at the time.I attended the 14th VLA Synthesis Imaging Workshop and the 4th Advanced VLA Data Reduction Workshop, both in Socorro, NM. I also presented a poster at the third Tri-State Astronomy Conference at the City University of New York, in New York, NY.
I gave talks at the annual CHANG-ES Consortium meetings in 2014, 2015, and 2016 in Kingston, Canada, Bonn, Germany, and Madison, WI.
I have given talks at the 29th and 32nd annual New Mexico Symposia in Socorro, NM.
Teaching and Outreach Activities
I was a Teaching Assistant at NMSU for 5 semesters, spanning Fall 2012 through Spring 2014, and Fall 2017. I taught the lab section of the course ASTR 105 — The Planets, and ASTR 110 — Introduction to Astronomy.
I have participated in 24 public outreach events from 2012-2017, in benefit of the people of the City of Las Cruces. Most of these outreach events were an interaction with gradeschool-aged children, by bringing the science of astronomy to their lives with telescope observing, comet building, and other enlightening and engaging activities. Other events were open-to-the-public talks on current astronomy topics via the Las Cruces Astronomical Society.