NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0451

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0451


PI: Robert da Silva, University of California, Santa Cruz, rdasilva.astro@gmail.com
Address: Astronomy Department, 1156 High Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, United States

CoI: J. Xavier Prochaska, UCO/Lick Observatory
CoI: David Rosario, UC Santa Cruz
CoI: Thomas J. Cox, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Title: Shining Light on a Pair of Merging Galaxies

Abstract: We will observe a unique interacting galaxy pair where one of the galaxies is in a quasar phase. This system has the remarkable quality that the light from the quasar is photoionizing the otherwise unobservable gas in the merger making it visible through line emission. Additionally, the phase of the merger is constrained by the stellar populations and relative separation of the components. We propose a GMOS-IFU study to obtain a complete view of the kinematics of the gas in this system. This will allow a meaningful comparison with merger simulations that will reveal details of the relationship between mergers and black hole growth. Hand-in-hand we will also measure the strength of ionization of the gas as well as its spatial variation, and thereby determine the quasar's sphere of influence with important implications for models of IGM ionization and feedback studies.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0451

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