NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0257

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Proposal Information for 2012A-0257


PI: Idan Ginsburg, Dartmouth College, idan.ginsburg@gmail.com
Address: Physics Department, 6127 Wilder Laboratory, Hanover, NH 03755, USA

CoI: Warren Brown, Harvard University
CoI: Gary Wegner, Dartmouth College

Title: Detecting Photometric Variability of Hypervelocity Stars

Abstract: "Hypervelocity stars" (HVSs) have sufficient velocity to escape the Milky Way. HVSs are found in the halo but thought to be produced by the massive black hole at the Galactic Center. The fact that HVSs have traveled over 50 kpc from the Galactic Center, allows us to measure the dark matter that surrounds the Milky Way. Yet, we are missing a key piece of information: the nature and distance of these HVSs. We request 4 nights of WIYN 3.5m imaging to measure the photometric variability and constrain the nature of 14 HVSs. This will allow for determining whether HVSs are main sequence stars, in which case they have effective temperatures that make them excellent candidates for being slowly pulsating B stars. Very importantly, this will also allow accurate distance estimates which will leverage our Hubble Space Telescope proper motion measurements. Only by knowing the HVSs' distances and full space trajectories can we firmly establish their nature and measure the distribution of dark matter in the Galaxy; mapped by the HVSs' trajectories out of the Galactic Center.


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0257

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