NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011B-0509

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Proposal Information for 2011B-0509


PI: Mariska Kriek, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, mkriek@cfa.harvard.edu
Address: Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, MS 20, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

CoI: Katherine Whitaker, Yale University
CoI: Ivo Labbe, Leiden Observatory
CoI: Charlie Conroy, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics
CoI: Pieter van Dokkum, Yale University

Title: Physical Properties of z~1.5 Galaxies as a Function of Spectral Type

Abstract: The high-quality photometry of the NEWFIRM medium-band survey has allowed us to characterize the galaxy population at z=0.5-2.0 using a novel approach. By identifying analogous galaxies and stacking in rest- frame, we have constructed composite spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for 32 different galaxy types. These unique SEDs are of spectroscopic quality and represent the entire K-selected galaxy population at 0.5<z<2.0. They enable us to "pre-select" galaxies of particular spectral type, and thus make spectroscopic studies factors of 10-100 more efficient than the usual approach. Here, we propose to use GNIRS to target rest-frame optical emission lines for z~1.5 galaxies. By observing only a few galaxies of each SED type we can determine the average emission-line properties for galaxies that have the same SED type. This is by far the most efficient method to obtain spectroscopic samples that span the entire galaxy population, with a well-understood selection. This systematic study will give new insights into star formation activity, the origin of the mass-metallicity relation, the major phase of black-hole growth, and the dust properties of high-redshift galaxies.


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