NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008A-0430

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Proposal Information for 2008A-0430


PI: Jennifer Lotz, NOAO, lotz@noao.edu
Address: 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

CoI: Lee Armus, Spitzer Science Center
CoI: T.J. Cox, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Patrik Jonsson, UC Santa Cruz
CoI: Susan Kassin, Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris
CoI: Casey Papovich, University of Arizona
CoI: Ben Weiner, University of Arizona
CoI: J.D. Smith, University of Arizona

Title: SparsePak observations of Galaxy Merger Kinematics, Star-formation, and Feedback

Abstract: The merger of gas-rich galaxies may transform well-ordered rotating disks into dynamically-hot spheroids, induce strong starbursts, and fuel the growth of active galactic nuclei (AGN). Hierarchical galaxy assembly models predict that much of the star-formation and spheroid assembly is merger-driven. We propose to obtain detailed kinematic, star-formation, and ionization maps of 4 nearby mergers at different merger stages using SparsePak IFU observations of H(alpha), [NII], [SII] emission and NaI absorption. H(alpha) traces the kinematics of the warm ionized gas and the instantaneous star-formation rate, while [NII]/H(alpha) and [SII]/H(alpha) ratios constrain the ionization state of the gas. In gas-rich mergers, NaI absorption traces neutral gas outflows driven by SN feedback. These observations will be compared to the kinematic and star-formation properties predicted by gas-rich galaxy merger simulations. With this pilot program and future observations, we will address (1) how the merger process transforms the kinematics of rotation-dominated systems (2) the efficiency of star- formation during the merger process and (3) the dominant mode of feedback (stellar or AGN) during and after a merger.


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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