NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2001B-0364

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Proposal Information for 2001B-0364


PI: Heather Morrison, CWRU, heather@vegemite.astr.cwru.edu
Address: 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106

CoI: Denise Hurley-Keller, CWRU
CoI: Paul Harding, Steward Observatory
CoI: George Jacoby, WIYN Observatory

Title: Formation of Galaxy Spheroids -- constraints from the nearest large bulge

Abstract: When do galaxy spheroids form? Data from high redshift studies which could address this question are hard to interpret because of the possibly severe effects of dust. Local spheroids, however, provide a good stepping-stone to their interpretation. We plan to study the spheroid of the nearest disk galaxy with a large bulge (M31) using planetary nebulae (PNe) which can be used as both kinematic tracers of the stellar components and as an age indicator for very old populations. We have surveyed the halo of M31 for PNe using the Burrell Schmidt, and are applying here for WIYN/Hydra time to determine the kinematics and spatial distribution of M31's halo, and its relation to the bulge and disk. Once we have kinematical data to classify the PNe into disk, bulge or halo objects, our existing imaging data will provide statistics on the PN formation rate, which is a rough indicator of age for low mass stellar populations. These observations will help us constrain the high-redshift galaxy data by giving us detailed information on the formation of the halo and bulge of the nearest galaxy with a large r^1/4 spheroid.


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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