NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2004A-0339

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Proposal Information for 2004A-0339


PI: Joseph F. Hennawi, Princeton University, jhennawi@astro.princeton.edu
Address: Astrophysical Sciences, Peyton Hall-Ivy Lane, Princeton, NJ 08544-1001, USA

CoI: Michael A. Strauss, Princeton University
CoI: Feng Dong, Princeton University
CoI: James E. Gunn, Princeton University
CoI: Neal Dalal, Institute for Advanced Study
CoI: Neta Bahcall, Princeton University

Title: A Systematic Search for Giant Arcs Behind the Richest Clusters in the Universe

Abstract: We propose to exploit the excellent image quality delivered by the WIYN to search for strongly gravitationally lensed arcs behind the richest clusters discovered in the current SDSS photometric catalog of more than 10^8 galaxies from ~ 6000 deg^2, an area 15 times larger than any previous giant arc search. The SDSS cluster catalog is complete out to z~ 0.5 for rich systems, and is the largest cluster catalog in existence. Deep g and r band imaging of the 30 richest clusters in this Gpc^3 cosmological volume will likely double the number of known giant arcs, and may yield several new "poster child" strong lensing clusters similar to Abell 2218 or CL0024+1654. The improved statistics provided by this sample will be the first step towards transforming strong lensing by galaxy clusters from the study of a handful of rare systems, into a powerful cosmological probe that will constrain cosmological parameters, test our model of structure formation, and provides natural gravitational telescopes that magnify the high-z universe.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2004A-0339

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