NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2004A-0040

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Proposal Information for 2004A-0040


PI: Andrew Hopkins, University of Pittsburgh, ahopkins@phyast.pitt.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 3941 O'Hara St, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA

CoI: Andrew Connolly, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: Alberto Conti, STScI
CoI: Jeff Gardner, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: Sam Schmidt, University of Pittsburgh

Title: Infrared Glimpses of the High Redshift Universe

Abstract: High redshift radio galaxies have long been used to probe the epoch of galaxy formation. As the likely progenitors of present day elliptical galaxies they represent an ideal sample from which to understand the physical mechanisms that drive the gravitational collapse and formation of the first massive bound systems. Utilizing wide-field optical imaging surveys such as the SDSS, we can identify large numbers of likely high redshift candidates based on their optical properties. Complementing the success of proposal 03A-0135, from which we have preliminary K-band detections for over 75% of the targets, we aim to extend the NIR imaging of high redshift candidates to include an additional 120 radio galaxies in the SDSS. As for proposal 03A-0135, a lower redshift limit of z~ 1.5 and a median of z~2.9, are expected, strongly complementing our initial sample of the high- redshift population from 03A-0135. Selecting radio sources with no optical counterpart in the SDSS will thus produce \em the largest homogeneous sample of known radio galaxies at z>3.0. In this proposal we request time to target a representative sample of candidate high-redshift radio galaxies (L_1.4GHz > 100mJy) with the FLAMINGOS infrared imaging camera. The resulting near-infrared images will enable detection of radio galaxies close to the epoch of their formation, and provide an initial sample for study using subsequent spectroscopy and deeper imaging, probing details of the star formation history and morphological evolution of these systems.


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 >   2004A-0040

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