NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2006B-0550

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Proposal Information for 2006B-0550


PI: Paul A. Thorman Jr., University of New Mexico, pthorman@unm.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 800 Yale Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

CoI: Dinesh Loomba, University of New Mexico
CoI: Ian Dell'Antonio, Brown University
CoI: David Wittman, University of California, Davis

Title: High Redshift Quasars and L & T Dwarfs in the Deep Lens Survey

Abstract: High redshift QSOs (z>5.7) are crucial to understanding the early Universe. We propose to make targeted J-band observations of objects from the Deep Lens Survey selected by very red (R-z'>3.5) optical colors, to assemble a set of high-redshift QSO candidates for future spectroscopic study. The portion of the Deep Lens Survey we intend to use for candidate selection is 4\sq\deg complete to R=27 and z'=24, 1\sq\deg of which has already been imaged to J=21. With J-band imaging to J=21-22, we can strongly distinguish between brown dwarfs and possible high-z quasars down to nearly the limiting magnitude in z in the remaining 3\sq\deg. This would be one of the deepest searches yet attempted for these quasars, probing the faint end of the QSO luminosity function at high redshifts, as well as giving us additional lines of sight into the end stages of the Epoch of Reionization. The brown dwarfs which would be detected as a result of this search are also valuable, allowing us to reconstruct the spatial density of these L and T dwarfs at a distance of up to 600pc, and giving us access to a fainter and cooler population of brown dwarfs than a shallower survey such as SDSS. We can also use the fields obtained to search for the elusive z>6.5 quasars, which have yet to be discovered.


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