NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009A-0380

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Proposal Information for 2009A-0380


PI: Yujin Yang, University of Arizona, yyang@as.arizona.edu
Address: Steward Observatory, 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

CoI: Ann Zabludoff, University of Arizona
CoI: Romeel Dave', University of Arizona
CoI: Daniel Eisenstein, University of Arizona

Title: Determining the Nature of Extended Lyman Alpha Nebulae

Abstract: The discovery of extended \lya nebulae, or ``\lya blobs," may ultimately provide clues to how galaxies formed in early Universe (z ~ 2 - 5). Despite intense interest, what powers these blobs and what they will evolve into remains a mystery. To begin to answer these questions, we need first to constrain their basic properties, including how common they are, how they are spatially distributed, and how diverse their possible power sources may be. To resolve these issues, we have undertaken an unprecedented blind survey for blobs at z ~ 2.3 in the Chandra Deep Field North (CDFN), South (CDFS), and Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) fields with a custom narrow-band filter and NOAO's 4m+MOSAIC cameras. While this survey has now discovered the large cosmic variance of the brightest \lya blobs and has generated an ideal blob sample for optical (\lya) and NIR (H(alpha)) spectroscopic follow- up, the poor seeing and shallow imaging depth of the COSMOS field reduces our statistics and precludes us from quantifying the clustering of fainter and smaller, but presumably more typical and numerous, \lya\ blobs. By doubling our faint blob sample, the narrow-band imaging of two additional COSMOS sub-fields that we propose here will allow us to better define the cosmic variance of the fainter blobs and their differences (if any) from unresolved \lya emitting galaxies.


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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