NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0095

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0095


PI: Anil Seth, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, aseth@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: 60 Garden St, MS 20, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

CoI: Robert Blum, NOAO
CoI: Nadine Neumayer, ESO
CoI: Victor Debattista, U. Central Lancashire
CoI: Michele Cappellari, Oxford
CoI: Richard McDermid, Gemini
CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Nate Bastian, Cambridge/IOA
CoI: Nelson Caldwell, Harvard-Smithsonian CfA
CoI: Andrew Stephens, Gemini
CoI: Thomas Puzia, Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics

Title: Surveying Nearby Nuclear Star Clusters

Abstract: Nuclear star clusters, commonly found in lower mass galaxies, have recently been shown to follow the same scaling relation as supermassive black holes between their mass and the mass of their host galaxy. However, unlike supermassive black holes, nuclear star clusters provide a visible record of the accretion of stars and gas into the nucleus. We propose to use NIFS with Altair in LGS mode to make the highest spectral and angular resolution studies to date of four nearby (D<5 Mpc) galaxies in order to quantitatively probe their stellar populations and kinematics. These observations will (1) constrain the formation mechanisms and assembly histories of nuclear star clusters, and (2) allow us to estimate nuclear star cluster and potential black hole masses and examine scaling relations with their host galaxies. These observations form the second half of a Gemini/NIFS survey of nearby nuclear star clusters.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0095

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