NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0378

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0378


PI: Anthony Gonzalez, University of Florida, anthony@astro.ufl.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, Bryant Space Science Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2055, USA

CoI: Spencer Adam Stanford, UC Davis/ LLNL
CoI: Daniel Gettings, University of Florida
CoI: Mark Brodwin, CfA
CoI: Peter Eisenhardt, JPL
CoI: Casey Papovich, Texas A&M
CoI: Cosimo Fedeli, University of Florida
CoI: Alexey Vikhlinin, CfA
CoI: Daniel Stern, JPL

Title: A WISE Search for the Most Massive High Redshift Galaxy Clusters

Abstract: We request I and K_s imaging from WIYN and SOAR as part of a comprehensive all-sky program to detect and characterize the most massive galaxy clusters at z>1.2, with the dual aims of constraining the Gaussianity of the initial density perturbations after inflation and exploring the evolution of the oldest galaxies in the most overdense environments. The foundation for this program is the Preliminary Release data from the NASA Wide Field Infrared Explorer (WISE). WISE is an all-sky infrared survey mission for which the first 23,600 sq. deg. of data will be publicly in April 2011. Our team has developed a modified version of the cluster detection algorithm developed by Papovich (2008) that employs color selection in the two bluest bands (3.4 and 4.6 (mu)m) to isolate galaxies at z\ga 1.2 and identify clusters as overdensities of L^* galaxies at these redshifts. The technique has been been tested using WISE pre-release data for a small (3,000 sq. deg.) subfield and optimized to enable an efficient search over the full Preliminary Release area. Within this subfield we find candidates that appear comparable to the most massive z>1 systems known. The immediate aim of the proposed observations is to detect the red sequence using I-K_s photometry to both confirm candidate clusters and obtain photometric redshift estimates.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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