NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0359

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0359


PI: Stephane Courteau, University of British Columbia, courteau@astro.ubc.ca
Address: Physics Department, 6224 Agricultural Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1, CANADA

CoI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland
CoI: David Andersen, MPIA, Heidelberg
CoI: Matt Bershady, Univ. of Wisconsin
CoI: Lauren MacArthur, Univ. of British Columbia

Title: Galaxy Evolution with Emission Linewidths

Abstract: \smallskip The major novel thrust of galaxy evolution studies is the measurement of \it line widths rather than mere redshifts or colors. Line widths are a measure of galaxy mass and may provide the best way to relate galaxies at different epochs. To use line widths as an evolutionary probe, we must control systematic effects that could bias integrated line width measurements at high redshift and skew comparisons with local luminosity-line width calibrations. At intermediate redshifts, high spatial resolution kinematics can no longer be obtained and integrated line widths of the ionized gas may suffer greatly from dynamical effects, such as outflows and concentrated or extended starbursts, thus thwarting any simple interpretation of galaxy evolution based on kinematic and luminosity measurements. \smallskip We propose a study to calibrate these effects with integral-field \ha spectroscopy and narrow-band imaging for 16 \it local starburst galaxies with available \hi line widths which cover a full range of colors and infrared luminosities (i.e. star formation rates). This is the first study of its kind to determine the role of the spatial distribution of flux to the shape of spatially-integrated line profiles for a sample which is relevant to high-redshift studies of star-forming galaxies. The data will also be used to map outflows and gradients in the ionization and metallicity of the gas in each galaxy, and to derive the energetics of any galactic winds detected in these objects.


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