NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0424

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0424


PI: Matt Auger, UC Santa Barbara, mauger@physics.ucsb.edu
Address: Physics Department, Broida Hall, Mail Code 9530, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA

CoI: Tommaso Treu, UC Santa Barbara
CoI: Phil Marshall, Oxford University
CoI: Brendon Brewer, UC Santa Barbara

Title: Mining Red Nuggets by Sniggling for EELs

Abstract: The massive compact objects (`red nuggets') recently discovered at z > 1.5 appear to have disappeared in the local Universe and theoretical models of galaxy evolution are unable to explain where they have gone. The case is dire: either the models are wrong or the observations are being misinterpreted. One promising way forward is to find and study red nuggets at lower redshifts where, for example, extended low-surface brightness envelopes can be observed. To date, however, only three red nuggets at intermediate redshifts have been discovered. One of these is an early-type background source of a gravitational lens system (the foreground galaxy is also early-type, so these are early-type/early-type lenses, or EELs). All three intermediate redshift red nuggets require two surface brightness components to fit the observed light, although a much larger number of objects must be observed to characterize the incidence and importance of the second component and to determine the intermediate redshift size- mass relation of red nuggets. We therefore request time to follow up a sample of 10 candidate EELs to investigate their background sources and quantify the evolution of red nuggets from z ~ 2 to z ~ 0.4.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0424

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