NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0038

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0038


PI: Randy L. Phelps, California State University, Sacramento, phelps@csus.edu
Address: Physics Department, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6041, USA

Title: CCD Photometry of the Oldest(?) Open Cluster, Be 17

Abstract: Faint-magnitude, UBVI photometry of the old open cluster, Berkeley 17 (Be 17) is proposed, using the KPNO 4-meter MOSAIC CCD camera. Recent photometric studies have reveal Be 17 to be perhaps the oldest open cluster known in the Milky Way, making it an important object for constraining the age of the Galactic disk, as well as for studying its star forming history. Deep multicolor photometry of the Be 17 main sequence will allow for reliable distance and reddening estimates of this crucial cluster to be made which, when combined with spectroscopic and proper motion studies underway by other investigators, will allow for a significant improvement in the age estimate for this important cluster. The deep photometry will also allow for an investigation of the cluster mass function of perhaps the oldest open cluster, thereby adding to our understanding of the dynamical evolution of stellar systems. The broader scientific impact of this investigation is a better understanding of the timescales for disk formation for galaxies in general. The broader impact to society is the inclusion of non-research universities in scientific discoveries, and the involvement of underserved students in research.


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