NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0113

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Proposal Information for 2014B-0113


PI: Luis Ho, Carnegie Institution of Washington (Carnegie Obs.), lho@obs.carnegiescience.edu
Address: Carnegie Observatories, 813 Santa Barbara Street, Pasadena, CA 91101, U.S

CoI: Song Huang, Nanjing University
CoI: Rachel Mason, Gemini Observatory

Title: Did the Primordial Cores of Massive Elliptical Galaxies Have a Bottom-heavy IMF?

Abstract: Recently, independent lines of evidence suggest that massive early-type galaxies in the nearby Universe have a surprisingly "bottom-heavy" IMF. If this is true, we expect that high-redshift compact quiescent galaxies ("red nugget") - the primordial cores of nearby massive galaxies - should also have a bottom-heavy IMF. Since direct verification using high-redshift objects is still not feasible, we propose to test this hypothesis using a rare population of red nuggets analogs in the nearby Universe. We propose GNIRS cross-dispersed spectroscopic observations of a sample of 4 massive, compact galaxies at 0.11<z<0.16. Using the wealth of diagnostic lines between 0.8 and 2.2 microns, we will constrain the slope of the IMF, along with other stellar population properties, for these unique objects and compare them with normal massive early-type galaxies. These high-quality spectra will not only enable us to verify the "bottom-heavy" nature of the IMF of massive early-type galaxies, but can also lead us to new insights about the physical nature of compact, massive galaxies.


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



NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2014B-0113

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