NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003A-0089

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Proposal Information for 2003A-0089


PI: Richard Elston, The University of Florida, elston@astro.ufl.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 211 Bryant Space Science Building, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

CoI: Peter Eisenhardt, NASA/JPL
CoI: Daniel Stern, NASA/JPL
CoI: S. Adam Stanford, UC-Davis; IGPP/LLNL
CoI: Katherine Wu, University of Florida
CoI: Mark Dickinson, STSCI
CoI: Hyron Spinrad, UC-Berkeley
CoI: Andrew Connolly, University of Pirrsburg
CoI: Anthony Gonzales, The University of Florida
CoI: Steven N. Raines, The University of Florida

Title: Tracing The Star Formation History of Galaxies from Z=0.4 to 1.7

Abstract: Over the past few years it has become widely accepted that the global rate of star formation peaks strongly at z~1-2 and falls very rapidly toward lower redshifts. If true, this trend would indicate that z~1-2 was the preferred epoch of star formation in galaxies. Problematically, there are no large spectroscopic samples of galaxies with z>1 and this trend in star formation was obtained by combining a wide range of disparate star formation indicators: H(alpha), 2800Aflux and 1500Aflux which all give systematically different results. We propose to determine the star formation rates of field galaxies with redshifts between 0.45 and 1.7 using H(alpha) as a single star formation indicator. We will continue our program using the new near-IR multi-object spectrometer FLAMINGOS to measure redshifted H(alpha) flux for a complete sample of galaxies selected using their rest frame R-band flux over this redshift range. Thus, we will be able to quantify the rise in star formation out to z~1-2 using a spectroscopically identified group of galaxies and a single star formation indicator which is well measured in the local universe. Using our existing optical and UV photometry we will directly compare star formation rates derived from the 2800Aflux and H(alpha).


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