NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0433

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0433


PI: Chris Willott, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, chris.willott@nrc.ca
Address: 5071 West Saanich Rd, Victoria, BC V9E2E7, Canada

CoI: David Crampton, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: John Hutchings, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Marcin Sawicki, UC Santa Barbara
CoI: David Schade, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Luc Simard, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Thierry Forveille, CFHT, Hawaii
CoI: Loic Albert, CFHT, Hawaii
CoI: Xavier Delfosse, Grenoble, France
CoI: Alain Omont, Paris, France
CoI: Jacqueline Bergeron, Paris, France
CoI: Rene Doyon, Universite de Montreal

Title: A very wide survey for z=6 quasars and cool brown dwarfs

Abstract: Redshift z=6 marks the end of cosmological reionization due to the formation of the first substantial population of star forming galaxies and accreting black holes. Reionization is a highly inhomogeneous process with significant cosmic variance, and therefore many sightlines are needed to get an accurate picture of the ionization state of the high redshift IGM. We are carrying out a wide-field optical imaging survey of 900 sq deg with the goals of finding z~6 quasars and ultracool brown dwarfs. We propose to obtain simultaneous JHK imaging with SQIID of z>5.8 quasar candidates, identified by their extreme i'- z' colours. The z'-J colour provides extremely effective discrimination between these high-z quasars and ultracool brown dwarfs, the only known contaminant at their i'-z' colour. In this proposal we focus on the quasar science since there is insufficient space for two detailed science cases. However, one should note that the majority of our targets are brown dwarfs and therefore the additional H and K photometry from SQIID will assist in their classification and allow us to search for unusual types such as low metallicity or low gravity dwarfs.


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 >   2006A-0433

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