NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013B-0440

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Proposal Information for 2013B-0440


PI: David Nidever, University of Michigan, dnidever@umich.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1042, USA

CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Gurtina Besla, Columbia University
CoI: Robert Gruendl, Univ. Illinois
CoI: Abhijit Saha, NOAO Tucson
CoI: Carme Gallart, IAC
CoI: Edward W. Olszewski, University of Arizona
CoI: Ricardo Munoz, University de Chile Santiago
CoI: Matteo Monelli, IAC
CoI: Andrea Kunder, CTIO
CoI: Catherine Kaleida, ASU
CoI: Alistair Walker, CTIO
CoI: Guy Stringfellow, University of Colorado
CoI: Dennis Zaritsky, University of Arizona
CoI: Roeland van der Marel, STSci
CoI: Robert Blum, NOAO
CoI: Kathy Vivas, CIDA, Venezuela
CoI: You-Hua Chu, Univ. Illinois
CoI: Nicolas Martin, MPIA
CoI: Blair Conn, MPIA
CoI: Noelia Noel, MPIA
CoI: Steven Majewski, UVA
CoI: Shoko Jin, University of Groningen
CoI: Hwihyun Kim, ASU
CoI: Maria-Rosa Cioni, University of Hertfordshire
CoI: Eric Bell, University of Michigan
CoI: Antonela Monachesi, University of Michigan
CoI: Thomas de Boer, Kapteyn Astronomical Institute, Groningen

Title: Survey of the MAgellanic Stellar History -- SMASH

Abstract: Over the last several years, various discoveries have drastically altered our view of the iconic Magellanic Clouds (MCs), the nearest interacting galaxy system. The best evidence is now that they are on first infall into the Milky Way, that their stellar populations extend \em much further than previously thought, and that they suffered a close collision that tore out both the well-known Magellanic Stream and a large amount of still undetected stellar debris. Here we propose a community DECam survey of the Clouds mapping 480 deg^2 (distributed over ~2400 deg^2 at ~20% filling factor) to ~24th mag griz (and u$~23) that will supplement the 5000 deg^2 Dark Energy Survey's partial coverage of the Magellanic periphery, allowing us to map the expected stellar debris and extended populations with unprecedented fidelity. We have already conducted a pilot project demonstrating that DECam will allow us to: (1) Map the stellar periphery of the MCs with old main-sequence turnoff stars to a surface brightness limit of ~35 mag/arcsec^2, revealing relics of their formation and past interactions. (2) Identify the stellar component of the Magellanic Stream and Leading Arm for the first time, if they exist, making them the only Galactic halo tracers with both gaseous and stellar components. (3) Derive spatially-resolved star formation histories covering all ages out to large radii of the MCs that will further complement our understanding of their formation. The combination of this survey and DES data will allow us to uncover a multitude of stellar structure that will unveil the complex and dramatic history of these two dwarf galaxies, while enabling a broad spectrum of community-led projects.


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