NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010A-0015

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Program Information for 2010A-0015


PI: Pieter van Dokkum, Yale U., pieter.vandokkum@yale.edu
Address: Astronomy Department, 260 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06511 USA

CoI: Rachel Bezanson, Yale U.
CoI: Gabriel Brammer, Yale U.
CoI: Marijn Franx, Leiden Observatory
CoI: Garth Illingworth, UC Santa Cruz
CoI: Mariska Kriek, Princeton U.
CoI: Ivo Labbe, Carnegie Observatories
CoI: Britt Lundgren, Yale U.
CoI: Danilo Marchesini, Yale U.
CoI: Adam Muzzin, Yale U.
CoI: Ryan Quadri, Leiden Observatory
CoI: Gregory Rudnick, U. of Kansas
CoI: Tomer Tal, Yale U.
CoI: David Wake, Yale U.
CoI: Katherine Whitaker, Yale U.

Title: The NEWFIRM Medium Band Survey II: Hunting Monster Galaxies

Abstract: Current observations of the most massive galaxies at <z<1$ suggest that they evolve very slowly, contrary to expectations from galaxy formation models. Unfortunately it has proven difficult to push these studies to higher redshifts, because broad-band near-infrared surveys do not have the required redshift accuracy. We have recently developed and implemented an extremely efficient technique to measure accurate redshifts of large samples of $K$-selected galaxies. In the NOAO NEWFIRM Medium Band Survey (NMBS) we used five custom medium-bandwidth filters from -1.8\,\mu$m to measure redshifts for $\approx 18,000$ galaxies down to $K_{\rm AB}=22.5$ in two .22$\,deg$^2$ fields. We securely identified 8 galaxies with $K_{\rm AB}<20.5$ at <z<3$ and 1 spectacular galaxy with $K_{\rm }=20.3$ at $z=3.24$. These are the most luminous and massive galaxies yet known at $z>2$. Here we propose a wide area extension to the NMBS for a ten-fold increase in the known number of very massive galaxies at $z>2$. In addition, the resulting database of high-quality SEDs and redshifts of $\sim 50,000$ galaxies down to $K_{\rm AB} = 20.5$ (of which $\sim 7500$ will be at $z>1$) will form a lasting legacy of NEWFIRM, enabling the most accurate studies of the clustering of $K$-selected galaxies at <z<2$, studies of rare objects such as AGN, and the identification of several dozen (proto- )clusters.

Program Type: Survey

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2010A):  CT-4m/NEWFIRM -- 12n on Jun 16 - Jun 27 2010
Run 2 (2010B):  CT-4m/NEWFIRM -- 20n on Dec 27 - Jan 15 2011
Run 3 (2012A):  KP-4m/NEWFIRM -- 11n on Mar 08 - Mar 10 2012, Apr 01 - Apr 08 2012


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



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