NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0518

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0518


PI: Salman Hameed, Five College Astronomy Department, shameed@hampshire.edu
Address: Hampshire College, 893 West Street, Adele Simmons Hall, Amherst, MA 01002, USA

CoI: David Thilker, Johns Hopkins University

Title: HII Region Luminosity Functions in Spiral Galaxies

Abstract: We are proposing to use the 4 meter telescope at KPNO to obtain H(alpha) images for a representative northern hemisphere sample of bright, nearby, spiral (Sa-Scd) galaxies. The images will be used to derive HII region luminosity functions (LFs), diffuse fractions, H(alpha) equivalent widths, and H(alpha) luminosities. These observations will compliment our HII region LF survey of southern hemisphere spiral galaxies. Furthermore, we plan to incorporate NUV and FUV imaging data (for most of our sample) from NASA's GALEX mission. Joint analysis of H(alpha) and UV observations will accurately constrain the recent (< 100 Myr) star formation history (SFH) in each target through measurement of multivariate HII region luminosity functions. The availability of H(alpha) equivalent widths, in addition to total UV and H(alpha) luminosities, will help extend our findings to more distant, unresolved star forming systems. The proposed survey is prompted by exciting results from our H(alpha) imaging survey of early- type (Sa-Sab) spirals that showed great diversity in star forming properties and a correspondingly wide variety of HII region LF shapes (an indicator of both SFH and the present-day cluster membership function). In order to avoid any hemispheric bias, such as seen in early-type spirals, we are requesting time to obtain H(alpha) images for a representative sample of northern hemisphere spiral galaxies.


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