NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001A-0101

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Proposal Information for 2001A-0101


PI: John Feldmeier, Case Western Reserve University, johnf@eor.astr.cwru.edu
Address: 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

CoI: Robin Ciardullo, Penn State University
CoI: George Jacoby, KPNO/WIYN

Title: The Properties of Intracluster Starlight in the Virgo Cluster and in the M 81 group

Abstract: A key problem in extragalactic astronomy is how galaxy clusters and groups dynamically evolve. Although the global properties of clusters and groups depend sensitively on the rates of galactic cannibalism, outside accretion, and tidal-stripping, the relative importance of these mechanisms is unknown. The one property we can observe, the fraction of light removed from galaxies via tidal-stripping, is difficult to detect, and until recently, had only been observed in a few very rich galaxy clusters. An exciting alternative is to study individual intracluster planetary nebulae (IPN) in nearby systems. By studying the numbers, distribution and kinematics of IPN, we can learn much about intracluster starlight and galaxy clusters as a whole. Over the past three years, we have identified and measured 319 IPN candidates in the Virgo Cluster. We propose to continue our [O III] (lambda) 5007 Virgo survey using the wide field imaging capabilities of the 4-m telescope with the CCD Mosaic camera, combining it with a new [O III] survey of the nearby M 81 galaxy group. These observations will focus on the spatial structure of the intracluster stars in both systems, and to determine candidates for kinematical studies. Finally, these observations will pave the way for planned surface brightness observations of both systems using the CWRU Burrell Schmidt.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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