NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003A-0053

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Proposal Information for 2003A-0053


PI: John Feldmeier, Case Western Reserve University, johnf@eor.astr.cwru.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 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 complete our pilot 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 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 results have been exciting, they are based on a small sample of clusters, with a relatively narrow range of Rood-Sastry morphologies. We propose to observe six poorer type III Abell clusters, focusing on clusters with a wider range of optical morphologies than currently exist in our sample. Coupled with the additional type I clusters we will be observing this fall, these data will give us a representative sample of galaxy clusters which spans a range of cluster morphology and concentration. 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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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003A-0053

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