NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2004A-0185

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Proposal Information for 2004A-0185


PI: John Feldmeier, Case Western Reserve University, johnf@bottom.astr.cwru.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 10900 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

CoI: Robin Ciardullo, Penn State University
CoI: George Jacoby, WIYN Observatory
CoI: Pat Durrell, Penn State University

Title: Bridging the Intracluster Star gap in Ursa Major

Abstract: Multiple studies of intracluster stars in nearby and distant galaxy clusters have opened a new window into the dynamical evolution of galaxy clusters and groups. The fraction of intracluster light should depend sensitively on the rates of galactic cannibalism, outside accretion, and tidal-stripping, but the relative importance of these mechanisms is still unclear. However, recent studies have found an important clue. From our previous surveys of intracluster stars in rich clusters and groups, we have found that the fraction of intracluster stars drops precipitously as we move from the richer clusters to the poorer groups, contrary to simple theories of intracluster star production. To confirm this intriguing result, we now propose an [O III] (lambda) 5007 survey for intracluster planetary nebulae in the Ursa Major galaxy cluster. Ursa Major lies midway in richness between the galaxy clusters and groups studied thus far, and should provide an excellent test case for the collision scenarios. Through studies of planetary nebulae located in Ursa Major galaxies in our Mosaic frames, we should also be able to accurately calibrate the distance to this poorly-studied cluster, which is a critical link in the extragalactic distance scale.


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-0185

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