NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2002A-0209

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Proposal Information for 2002A-0209


PI: Arjun Dey, NOAO, dey@noao.edu
Address: 950 N. Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85719, U.S.A.

CoI: Buell Jannuzi, NOAO
CoI: Michael Brown, NOAO
CoI: Joan Najita, NOAO
CoI: Sidney Wolff, NOAO
CoI: Roger Lynds, NOAO
CoI: Sam Barden, NOAO

Title: Tracing the Evolution of the Elliptical Galaxy Population

Abstract: The evolution of the elliptical galaxy population can provide a critical test of hierarchical galaxy formation models. Hierarchical models predict a strong evolution in the number density of the elliptical galaxy population with redshift in contrast to traditional single-burst, passive evolution models. It has been established that cluster ellipticals appear to evolve passively; the next step is to identify the 0.5~lt z ~lt 2 field ellipticals (i.e., those not in rich clusters) in order to trace the evolution of the general population. Early results from the NOAO Deep Wide Field Survey show that the reddest galaxies trace a loop in the B_WRI color-color plane. We hypothesize that these galaxies may be the progenitors of the present- day field elliptical galaxy population. We propose to identify this population by obtaining (lambda)(lambda)0.6-1\micron spectra of a sample of 100 galaxies in this red envelope population, selected from the NDWFS Cetus and Bootes fields. We will determine the redshift distribution, spectral properties (i.e., stellar population content and star formation rate) of the sample galaxies and use these in combination with photometric redshifts to constrain the number density evolution, luminosity evolution and clustering properties of the population.


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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