NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0174

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Program Information for 2016B-0174


PI: John P Hughes, Rutgers U., jph@physics.rutgers.edu
Address: Department of Physics and Astronomy, 136 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8019 USA

CoI: Felipe Menanteau, U. of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
CoI: Felipe Barrientos, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: Leopoldo Infante, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: Steven Boada, Rutgers U.

Title: On the Trail of the Most Massive Galaxy Clusters in the Universe

Abstract: We propose to continue our program of optical and near-infrared (NIR) imaging to unveil {em all} of the most massive clusters in the observable Universe. We start from the all-sky Planck Sunyaev- Zel'dovich (SZ) catalogs, which contain several hundred high significance (S/N$>5$) unconfirmed cluster candidates. Since SZ selection favors high mass clusters and the Planck confirmation process favored low redshift systems, the highest significance unconfirmed candidates are, therefore, likely massive clusters ($M_{500}> 5times 10^{14}, M_odot$) at relatively high redshift ($z>0.5$). Our proposed observations, using MOSAIC and NEWFIRM on Mayall, are designed to confirm the presence of a brightest cluster galaxy and red sequence of accompanying cluster members to $zsim1.5$. Preliminary results from our observations over the past two years have validated our approach by the detection of optical clusters in a number of Planck candidates, including the discovery of rich systems at $z= 0.553$ and $z=0.830$ that rival the most massive clusters known. The proposed observations represent the first step required to provide a complete all-sky census throughout the observable Universe of the most massive, high redshift clusters. Their expected high redshift and high mass make the unconfirmed Planck clusters, arguably, the most important available sample for probing deviations from $Lambda$CDM and defining the high- mass end of the cluster mass function.

Program Type: Standard/Extragalactic

Scheduled Nights:
Run 1 (2016B):  KP-4m/MOSA3 -- 3n on Nov 23 - Nov 25 2016
Run 2 (2016B):  KP-4m/NEWFIRM -- 5.5n on Nov 11 - Nov 13 2016, Jan 09 - Jan 11 2017


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2016B-0174

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