NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2008B-0332

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Proposal Information for 2008B-0332


PI: Daniel H. McIntosh, University of Missouri - Kansas City, dmac@astro.umass.edu
Address: Department of Physics, 5110 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110, USA

CoI: Anna Pasquali, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
CoI: Frank van den Bosch, Max Planck Institute for Astronomy

Title: In Search of Remnants from Gas-Rich Major Mergers

Abstract: Gas-rich major mergers are dramatic examples of hierarchical galaxy formation and they play a key role in leading new theories that invoke blue-to-red galaxy transformation to explain the strong buildup observed in the red spheroid population, especially above \rm M_\star=10^10.5\rm M_\sun. These mergers are predicted to produce quenched blue spheroids that will redden as the latest new stars evolve. We propose 4 dark nights with the WIYN Mini-Mosaic to acquire B and V images down to 25.5 mag arcsec^-2 for a sample of 32 massive blue spheroid candidates selected from the SDSS. The proposed deep observations will allow the robust detection of tidal signatures indicative of recent merging activity, and the reliable separation of bonafide spheroids from other ambiguous sources masquerading as blue spheroids (e.g., bulges of LSB spirals) in concentration-selected samples from the SDSS. This pilot sample will place strong observational constraints on the role of gas-rich major merging in the blue-to-red evolution of galaxies.


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