NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2002B-0208

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Proposal Information for 2002B-0208


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

CoI: Chris Mihos, Case Western Reserve University
CoI: Heather Morrison, Case Western Reserve University
CoI: Paul Harding, Case Western Reserve University

Title: Observing the formation of cD envelopes and intracluster light

Abstract: We propose deep imaging to continue our study of the intracluster light (ICL) and extended halos of cD galaxies in galaxy clusters as a function of cluster environment. The ICL is likely formed both from violent relaxation during cluster formation and from subsequent tidal stripping of cluster galaxies, so that its properties should be linked to the dynamical evolution of the cluster and may vary between clusters with different physical properties. Our most recent imaging data seem to reflect such a trend: the observed morphology of the ICL varies significantly as a function of cluster Bautz-Morgan type. To the extent that the Bautz-Morgan type reflects cluster dynamical state, this result implies that we are beginning to see how ICL is formed and how it evolves with time. While our preliminary results are exciting, they are based on a small number of clusters. To extend and confirm our results, we propose to target six rich Abell clusters which span a range of Bautz-Morgan type, focusing this time on cD-dominated type I and intermediate type II clusters. In addition, we also plan to observe several MKW/AWM poor clusters to see how the properties of ICL vary as a function of cluster richness. This sample will allows us to probe how the properties of the ICL and cD halos vary over a range of cluster environments. We are requesting 7 dark nights on the 2.1m to reach (mu)_V=26.5 mag/sq arcsec in each cluster.


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