NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0275

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0275


PI: William H. Waller, Tufts University and MA Space Grant, william.waller@tufts.edu
Address: Physics Department, Robinson Hall, Medford, MA 02155, USA

CoI: Lori E. Allen, NOAO
CoI: Massimo Marengo, Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Erik W. Rosolowsky, University of British Columbia Okanagan
CoI: Robert D. Gehrz, University of Minnesota

Title: Star-forming Environments in M33: A Near-infrared Emission-line Imaging Survey with NEWFIRM

Abstract: We propose to exploit the wide-field capabilities of the NEWFIRM camera to carry out a near-infrared emission-line imaging survey of the Triangulum Galaxy - M33. At a distance of 840 kpc, M33 is the nearest star-forming spiral galaxy of low inclination - where the entire disk can be resolved from the ground at ~4 parsec scales. Its rich assortment of star-forming environments span a significant range of metallicities and intensities, thus enabling a diagnostic study of the environmental factors that mediate star-forming activity (and vice versa). We intend to image the entire galaxy in the light of ionized iron (1.64um), molecular hydrogen (2.12um), recombining ionized hydrogen (2.16um), and associated continua (using the broadband J, H, and K_S bands). The resulting images of spectral-line and continuum emission will reveal important indices of the multiphase star-forming environments and their variations across the galaxy. Comparisons with complementary ultraviolet, optical, mid-infrared, radio, and X-ray surveys of M33 will lead to further insights on the structuring and powering of stellar-nebular "ecosystems" in star-forming galaxies - including the more powerful starbursting systems at high redshift.


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