NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001B-0276

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Proposal Information for 2001B-0276


PI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland, veilleux@astro.umd.edu
Address: College Park, MD 20742, USA

CoI: David S. Rupke, University of Maryland
CoI: David B. Sanders, Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawaii

Title: Superwinds in Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxies

Abstract: Large-scale galactic outflows, or superwinds, are ubiquitous in star- forming galaxies in the local universe and in high-z Lyman-break galaxies. They likely have a substantial impact on galaxy formation and evolution, and may be responsible for the observed heating and enrichment of the intergalactic medium. However, the nature and frequency of occurence of superwinds over most of cosmic history remains unquantified. We propose to observe a complete sample of starburst- dominated galaxies in the redshift range 0.1 < z < 0.4 with the R- C spectrograph (used at moderately high resolution) on the KPNO 4 m. This is complemented by a concurrent proposal to Keck II to observe objects at higher z (0.4 < z < 1). A pilot study of a handful of low-z objects using Keck II in February 2001 was successful in detecting winds and measuring their properties. Overall, this project will greatly extend the small range of redshifts that previous studies have covered, and will allow us to observe trends in superwind properties and frequency as a function of z. In our KPNO run, we will observe starburst-dominated ultraluminous infrared galaxies from the IRAS 1 Jy sample and the ISOPHOT Deep Field. These are good objects in which to look for winds due to their high star-formation rates. Furthermore, high-z ultraluminous infrared galaxies may be a subset of Lyman-break galaxies, which typically contain outflows. The technique we propose, looking for blueshifted interstellar absorption lines, has proven effective in detecting winds at both low and high z. With the moderately-high spectral resolution obtainable on the R-C spectrograph, we will be able to go beyond detection and probe the properties of the winds. This survey is part of a Ph.D. thesis project (D. Rupke).


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