NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0051

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0051


PI: Alistair R. Walker, NOAO/CTIO, awalker@noao.edu
Address: Casilla 603, La Serena, Chile

CoI: Guiseppe Bono, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma
CoI: Horace A. Smith, Michigan State University
CoI: Matteo Monelli, INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma
CoI: Peter B. Stetson, HIA/NRC

Title: The Spatial Extent of the Carina Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy

Abstract: We propose to determine the bounds of the extended structure of the Carina Dwarf Spheroidal (dSph) Galaxy by using the unevolved Carina main sequence as an indicator, thus avoiding problems of contamination and small number statistics that plague methods using the much brighter cluster giants. The work will complement our own project on the distribution of RR Lyraes and other variables, and results will be compared with work by ourselves and others on the distribution of the various Carina populations. The existence and size of the extended structure surrounding Carina will allow critical discussion of the interaction between Carina and our Galaxy. Cold Dark Matter theory postulates the initial assembly of large galaxies from smaller (dSph- like) components, but recent discoveries show that the process is on- going and is not only a property of the early Universe. The disruption of the Sagittarius dSph, and the evidence for star streams in the halo from previous encounters, makes a search for extended structure around other companion dSphs an essential step in the development of a detailed formation and evolution scenario for our Galaxy. The proposed observations will definitively provide such information for the Carina dSph galaxy.


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