NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0195

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0195


PI: M. Mouhcine, Astrophysics Research Institute, mm@astro.livjm.ac.uk
Address: Liverpool John Moores University, Twelve Quays House, Egerton Wharf, Birkenhead CH41 1LD, United Kingdom

CoI: R. Ibata, observatoire de Strasbourg
CoI: M. Rejkuba, ESO
CoI: I. Minchev, Observatoire de Strasbourg

Title: The panoramic view of galaxies: the nature of the outskirts of spirals

Abstract: We propose to use MOSAIC II to construct panoramic views of the stellar populations in the outskirts of NGC 253 and NGC 300, two inclined spiral galaxies in the Sculptor group, the nearest galaxy group to the Local Group. These observations will allow accurate measurements of star counts, and color-magnitude diagrams 2-3 magnitudes below the tip of the red giant branch. As such, the survey will provide the missing link between studies of the Local Group spirals with those beyond, and to establish whether the findings made in the outskirts of the Local Group spirals are representative of other galaxies. We will measure the metallicity distribution functions and stellar density profiles from star counts down to very low surface brightnesses, equivalent to ~ 31 magnitudes per square arcsec. These observations will allow the most detailed comparative studies of (i) the structural properties and metallicity distributions of halo field stars, (ii) the structure and properties of galactic disks, and (iii) the properties of globular cluster systems around spirals, and how they connect to field stars. The panoramic view will allow for the most meaningful search of tidal streams and merging debris around spirals. These observations will offer the ideal set to verify the predictions of cosmological galaxy formation models.


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