NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001A-0138

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Proposal Information for 2001A-0138


PI: Andrew Connolly, University of Pittsburgh, ajc@phyast.pitt.edu
Address: 3941 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, US

CoI: Alex Szalay, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Marc Davis, University of California, Berkeley
CoI: Robert Brunner, Caltech
CoI: Gyula Szokoly, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Bhuvnesh Jain, Johns Hopkins University

Title: A Statistical Measure of Galaxy Evolution

Abstract: The evolution of the properties of galaxies as a function of redshift provides a sensitive probe of the theories of galaxy formation and evolution. At faint magnitudes, and thereby high redshift, the time required to undertake large spectroscopic surveys is prohibitive. Consequently existing spectroscopic surveys at z~ 1 sample only a small fraction of the Universe (i.e. they are subject to sample variance) and contain a few hundred redshifts (i.e. analyses are limited by shot noise). We can alleviate these problems by using multicolor photometry to estimate the redshifts and spectral types of galaxies and thereby define narrow intervals in redshift over which to measure the statistical properties of galaxies. In so doing we can express the evolution of galaxies as a function of their physical properties (their redshifts, luminosities and spectral types). In a series of pilot studies we have demonstrated that we can measure the luminosity function, spectral type distribution and clustering of galaxies as a function of photometric-redshift. The limitation with our current data is that we cover only a small (and possibly biased) volume of the Universe. We have, therefore, begun a survey to apply these techniques to a statistically fair sample to provide a definitive measure of galaxy evolution (the evolution of the luminosity function, clustering and distribution of galaxy spectral types as a function of photometric redshift). This proposal requests time to complete the spring fields of this survey that were started in March 1999.


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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