NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003A-0410

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Proposal Information for 2003A-0410


PI: Lisa M. Young, New Mexico Tech, lyoung@physics.nmt.edu
Address: Physics Department, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, USA

CoI: Martin Bureau, Columbia
CoI: Liese van Zee, Indiana University
CoI: Thomas S. Statler, Ohio University

Title: The Evolution of Elliptical Galaxies: CO content vs. Dust and Isophote Shapes

Abstract: We propose to carry out V and I imaging of 57 early-type (elliptical and S0) galaxies. These 57 galaxies are selected because they have been searched for molecular gas (CO emission); 40% are detected in CO. The V and I images will allow us to measure dust morphology, dust content, and isophote shape (boxy/disky). We will then (1) compare the distribution of CO detections and nondetections among boxy and disky galaxies, (2) search for correlations between CO luminosity and dust morphology, and (3) compare CO luminosities to total dust masses. These analyses will provide vital clues to the formation and evolution of early-type galaxies. Such analyses cannot be done with existing data: even though dozens of ellipticals are well studied in the optical, and dozens of ellipticals have been searched for CO, differing selection criteria mean that there are only a handful of galaxies for which high quality optical images and CO data both exist. The present proposal would close that gap, allowing us to undertake meaningful studies of how these galaxies' optical properties are related to their CO contents.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003A-0410

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