NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2005A-0360

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Proposal Information for 2005A-0360


PI: Joseph F. Hennawi, UC Berkeley, joeh@berkeley.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 601 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, CA 94720-3411, United States

CoI: Neal Dalal, Institute for Advanced Study
CoI: Mike Gladders, Carnegie
CoI: Xiaohui Fan, Steward Observatory
CoI: Masamune Oguri, Princeton
CoI: James Annis, Fermilab
CoI: Huan Lin, Fermilab
CoI: Hubert Lampeitl, Fermilab
CoI: Michael A. Strauss, Princeton
CoI: Priya Natarajan, Yale

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 Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) photometric catalog of more than 10^8 galaxies from ~ 7000 deg^2, an area 20 times larger than any previous giant arc search. The SDSS cluster catalog is complete out to z~ 0.6 for the richest systems, and is the largest cluster catalog in existence. Deep imaging of the 30 richest clusters in this Gpc^3 cosmological volume will likely double the number of known giant arcs, and has already yielded what are likely to be new "poster child" 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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