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What is FLAMEX?

The FLAMINGOS Extragalactic Survey (FLAMEX) is a deep, near-infrared imaging survey covering 7.1 square degrees within the NOAO Deep Wide-Feld Survey (NDWFS) regions. FLAMEX is the first such deep, wide-area survey to image in both the J and Ks filters, and is larger than any previous NIR surveys to comparable depth. The intent of FLAMEX is to facilitate study of galaxy and galaxy cluster evolution at z=1-2 by providing rest-frame optical photometry for the massive galaxy population at this epoch. In particular, identification of a statistical sample of galaxy clusters at z>1 is a central goal, and this objective is now being achieved in collaboration with the IRAC Shallow Survey team, with four spectroscopically confirmed clusters at z=1-1.41. Additionally, this data set complements the other multiwavelength efforts in the field and can be used for a wide range of science. For example, the NIR data bridge the gap between optical and IRAC data sets, and facilitate improved photometric redshift estimation. This survey was supported through the NOAO Large Survey Program, and all catalogs are publicly accessible.

Who is involved in FLAMEX?

PIs: Richard Elston and Anthony Gonzalez

Team Members: Mark Brodwin, Michael Brown, Gustavo Cardona, Arjun Dey, Mark Dickinson, Peter Eisenhardt, Buell Jannuzi, Yen-Ting Lin, Eric McKenzie, Joseph Mohr, Nick Raines, Adam Stanford, Daniel Stern

This team includes participants at the University of Florida, NOAO, JPL, UIUC, UC Davis/IGPP, and Princeton.

What is the status of FLAMEX?

Survey observations and data reduction are complete. The team is now focused on the program science and follow-up studies.

How does the final survey compare to the original objectives?

Here is the abstract from the original proposal (written by Richard Elston in 2001):

Distant clusters of galaxies provide unique insight to cosmology, the formation of large scale structure, and the formation and evolution of galaxies. We are conducting a deep near-IR survey covering 10 square degrees within the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey (NDWFS) regions, identifying and studying clusters with redshifts in the critical rang between 1 and 2. Models indicate that we should find ~1200 clusters with a virial mass larger than 10^{14} h_{65}^{-1} solar masses and should detect ~500 at redshifts higher than z=1. The redshift range between 1 and 2 is of particular interest since it is during this interval that we expect rapid evolution of the cluster population. Direct measurement of the evolution of the numbers of clusters in this range will provide constraints to both cosmological parameters and large scale structure formation models. This is also the epoch during which we expect the density-morphology relation to be established. The evolution of both the cluster luminosity function and the color-magnitude relation will clearly differentiate the competing theories of monolithic collapse and hierarchical formation for cluster galaxies. The deep near-IR data will be very useful for a wide range of other programs and will complement planned studies of the NDWFS regions with SIRTF, Chandra, and major radio observatories.


What else should I know about?

The other pages provide access to the survey catalogs, more detailed information about the survey and data sets, a list of FLAMEX publications, and links to related data sets. If you have any questions that are not addressed in these pages, please feel free to contact Anthony Gonzalez (


For questions please contact Anthony Gonzalez.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants 0436681 and 0407485. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Last revised September 29, 2005.