NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0313

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0313


PI: Eric Peng, Peking University, peng@bac.pku.edu.cn
Address: Department of Astronomy, 5 Yiheyuan Road, Beijing 100871, China

CoI: John Blakeslee, NRC-Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Patrick Cote, NRC-Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Stephane Courteau, Queens University
CoI: Pierre-Alain Duc, CEA-Saclay
CoI: Patrick Durrell, Youngstown State University
CoI: Eric Emsellem, CRA-Lyon
CoI: Laura Ferrarese, NRC-Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics
CoI: Andres Jordan, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
CoI: Ariane Lancon, Observatoire astronomique de Strasbourg
CoI: Dean McLaughlin, Keele University

Title: A Deep Spectroscopic Survey of the Virgo Cluster Core

Abstract: As the dominant mass concentration in the local universe and the largest collection of galaxies within ~35 Mpc, the Virgo cluster has historically played a key role in studies of how galaxies evolve in dense environments. Building on deep CFHT/Megacam u^*,g',r',i',z' images already in hand, this proposal capitalizes on the wide field of view and multiplexing capabilities of MMT/Hectospec to carry out a deep spectroscopic survey of cluster members within a 2\deg\times 2\deg region centered on Virgo's dominant galaxy, M87. Using nine Hectospec pointings, we will obtain spectra for all galaxies and globular clusters brighter than g'=19.5 mag, and a randomly selected sample of galaxies as faint as g'=21.0 mag: 1.5 and 3 magnitudes deeper, respectively, than reached by the SDSS. The combination of Hectospec and CFHT data will provide an unprecedented view of the core of this uniquely important cluster, with which to 1) characterize the faint end of the galaxy luminosity function well within the magnitude range over which current studies significantly disagree; 2) study the stellar population of cluster members as faint as g'=-13.2 using Lick index line measurements; and 3) use the globular cluster system of M87 to constrain the mass profile and the velocity ellipsoid of baryonic tracers in the critical transition region between the galaxy and cluster potential.


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