NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0497

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0497


PI: Adam Myers, University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign, admyers@illinois.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 1002 W. Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801, United States

CoI: Jo Bovy, New York University
CoI: Joseph Hennawi, Max-Planck Institut fur Astronomie
CoI: Jason Prochaska, UC Santa Cruz

Title: Cosmology with Close Quasar Pairs

Abstract: We propose to use the R-C spectrograph on the KPNO 4-meter to continue our ongoing effort to spectroscopically confirm close QSO pairs at high redshift. We have developed optimal machine learning techniques to efficiently segregate redshift z > 2 QSOs from stellar contaminants based on broad-band colors-a method that is now used as the core targeting algorithm for the SDSS-III BOSS spectroscopic QSO survey. Sub- arcminute QSO pair candidates are selected from a photometric QSO catalog containing ~ 10^6 objects over ~ 12,000 \rm deg^2 of SDSS imaging. R-C spectrograph confirmation of these extremely rare candidates is an essential first step to assembling a catalog of sight lines back to the early universe. This will allow us to address a variety of cosmological problems related to QSO environments, massive galaxy formation, and the physical state of the intergalactic medium. The proposed observations will double the number of high-redshift QSO pairs known. In particular SDSS DR8 contains ~ 2000 \rm deg^2 of new imaging in the southern hemisphere, which we will exploit for future follow-up programs using large telescopes in the southern hemisphere.


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