NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006A-0575

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Proposal Information for 2006A-0575


PI: David M Clark, University of Florida, dmclark@astro.ufl.edu
Address: Department of Astronomy, 211 Bryant Space Science Ctr., Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

CoI: Dr. Stephen S Eikenberry, University of Florida
CoI: Michelle Edwards, University of Florida
CoI: Dr. Nicolas Gruel, University of Florida
CoI: Dr. Steven N. Raines, University of Florida

Title: FISICA Observations of the Starforming Galaxy M51

Abstract: We propose to take near-infrared (IR) spectra of the star-forming galaxy M51 to study the environments of its numerous X-ray point sources. Data suggest that many of these objects are X-ray binaries (XRBs), systems composed of a compact object and a stellar companion. Of particular import are ULXS, ultra-luminous X-ray sources with luminosities L_x~10^39ergs s^-1, who are theorized to be powered by intermediate-mass black holes (IMBHs). ULXs are often embedded in crowded, dust-laden areas of their galaxies, making observations of their surroundings difficult. The advanced capabilities of the Florida Image Slicer for Infrared Cosmology and Astrophysics (FISICA), an integral field unit (IFU) for FLAMINOGS, will allow us to probe the extinguished and dense regions around ULXs. We will identify nearby clusters and estimate their mass, age and metallicity, important parameters explaining IMBH formation in M51. This work will compliment a multi-wavelength, photometric study of counterparts to X-ray sources in M51. We request four nights on the KPNO-4m using FISICA with FLAMINGOS to take JH and HK spectra.


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