NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0261

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0261


PI: Dave Hanes, Queen's University, hanes@astro.queensu.ca
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, Kingston, Ontario, K7L 3N6, Canada

CoI: Terry Bridges, Queen's University
CoI: Favio Faifer, Facultad de Cs. Astronomicas y Geofisicas, UNLP
CoI: Duncan Forbes, Swinburne University of Technology
CoI: Juan Forte, Facultad de Cs. Astronomicas y Geofisicas, UNLP
CoI: Karl Gebhardt, University of Texas at Austin
CoI: Mark Norris, University of North Carolina
CoI: Amanda Schembri, Queen's University
CoI: Ray Sharples, University of Durham
CoI: Steve Zepf, Michigan State University

Title: Globular Clusters as Probes of Galaxy Formation: The Isolated Elliptical NGC 720

Abstract: Globular Clusters (GCs) provide crucial constraints on the dark matter content of early-type galaxies and theories for their formation. We are carrying out a Gemini/GMOS spectroscopic survey of GCs in nearby elliptical galaxies in high and low density environments. We request time to complete our study of the GC system of the nearby isolated elliptical NGC 720, for which some data were obtained in 07B and 08B. Recent Chandra observations of NGC 720 suggest that this galaxy has a highly flattened, triaxial dark matter halo, whilst studies of the stellar light suggest that it may also be an unequal mass merger remnant of age 4 Gyr. With a sample of 160-180 GC velocities, we will independently probe the halo mass distribution, determine the GC orbital structure, and measure the halo angular momentum to test merger models. Evidence of a younger component in the age/metallicity distribution of the GCs will also be investigated.


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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