NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0141

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0141


PI: Karl Glazebrook, Swinburne University of Technology, karl@astro.swin.edu.au
Address: Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing, Mail number 31, PO Box 218, Hawthorne, Victoria, 3122, Australia

CoI: Roberto Abraham, University of Toronto
CoI: Patrick McCarthy, Carnegie Institution of Washington (Carnegie Obs.)
CoI: Inger Jorgensen, Gemini Observatory - North
CoI: Andy Green, Swinburne University of Technology
CoI: Lee Spitler, Swinburne University of Technology
CoI: Greg Poole, Swinburne University of Technology
CoI: Peter McGregor, Australian National University
CoI: Ivana Damjanov, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Erin Mentuch, McMaster University

Title: Local counterparts to high-redshift turbulent galaxies: what are the stellar kinematics?

Abstract: The last few years have seen dramatic shifts in our understanding on how the majority of stars in our Universe have formed. IFU dynamical data from large telescopes suggest that most of the star-formation in massive galaxies at high-redshifts occurs in disks (albeit highly turbulent ones), which are fed gas at high rates smoothly by cosmological cold flows. This contrasts starkly with the modern Universe where the highest star-formation rate objects studied to date have been fueled by gas rich mergers. The high-velocity H-alpha dispersion of the high-redshift young galaxies is a key and unexpected feature. Galaxies like these were thought to be absent from the local Universe where disks generally have modest velocity dispersions. However we have discovered a sample of very rare objects, as part of an IFS campaign to observe the most H-alpha luminous galaxies in SDSS, that include objects seemingly identical to these high-redshift turbulent disks. Being nearby they can be observed in great detail. An important question is what is the physical driver of the high-velocity dispersions? By measuring the STELLAR kinematics of the galaxies with the GMOS IFU we can test for feedback vs instability scenarios, an observation impossible for their high-z cousins.


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