NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2005B-0033

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Proposal Information for 2005B-0033


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

CoI: Ken Chambers, University of Hawaii
CoI: Istvan Szapudi, University of Hawaii
CoI: Andrew Hopkins, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: Sam Schmidt, University of Pittsburgh
CoI: Elizabeth McGrath, University of Hawaii

Title: A Census of the High Redshift Radio Universe

Abstract: Radio galaxies have long been used to probe the epoch of galaxy formation. As the likely progenitors of present day elliptical galaxies they represent the first massive systems to form in the universe. Thus they provide an ideal sample with which to study the physical processes that drive gravitational collapse and the formation of structure at high redshift. Current high redshift radio samples are small, limited by the need to survey large volumes in order to identify sources in the tails of the luminosity function. Utilizing existing deep optical and radio surveys we can filter the low redshift systems to efficiently sample galaxies at redshifts z>1.7. We propose here to undertake a complete K-band census of S_1.4GHz>100mJy sources at redshifts z>1.7 (covering a volume of 6\times10^10 \Mpc^3). This will enable the identification of radio galaxies close to the epoch of their formation and provide a complete sample of high redshift radio galaxies for spectroscopic and multi-wavelength follow-up. The primary science goals of this program are: to understand the timescales for the evolution of stellar populations at high redshift, to characterize the evolution of the number densities and luminosity functions of the most massive systems in the universe and to determine the clustering evolution of radio galaxies as a function of lookback time.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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