NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0264

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Program Information for 2017A-0264


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: Steven Boada, Rutgers U.
CoI: Felipe Barrientos, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
CoI: Leopoldo Infante, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile

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

Abstract: We propose to continue our program of optical imaging to unveil {em all} of the most massive clusters in the observable Universe. We start from the all-sky {em Planck} Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (SZ) catalogs, which contain several hundred high significance (signal-to-noise ratio, SNR $>5$) unconfirmed cluster candidates. Since SZ selection favors high mass clusters and the {em 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-3 on Mayall, are designed to confirm the presence of a brightest cluster galaxy (to $zsim1$) and red sequence of accompanying cluster members (to $zsim0.7$). Preliminary results from our observations over the past two years have validated our approach by the detection of optical clusters in a number of {em 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 {em 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 (2017A):  KP-4m/MOSA3 -- 4n on Jun 17 - Jun 20 2017


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NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2017A-0264

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