NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0188

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0188


PI: Marc Postman, Space Telescope Science Institute, postman@stsci.edu
Address: Archive Branch, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, Maryland 21218, USA

CoI: Wei Zheng, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Holland Ford, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Narciso Benitez, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Garth Illingworth, U.C. Santa Cruz
CoI: Tom Broadhurst, Hebrew University
CoI: Kerry Zekser, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Dan Coe, Johns Hopkins University
CoI: Caryl Gronwall, Penn State University

Title: Deep Infrared Imaging of ACS Fields: A Search for z > 7 Galaxies

Abstract: We propose to use NIRI to obtain deep J, H, and K-band images of 3 strong lensing galaxy clusters already observed as part of the Guaranteed Time Observing program for the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The combination of ACS and NIRI imaging represents our best chance to find the most distant galaxies. The J-band images to limiting magnitudes of AB=24.5 will enable us to detect z-band dropouts at redshifts z ~ 7-8, by taking advantage of the strong lensing amplification provided by massive clusters. Low resolution NICMOS grism spectra of such distant objects may reveal the onset of re-ionization of the intergalactic medium. The H and K-band images will provide an additional constraint on the photometric redshift of such z-band dropouts as well as a good measure of their star formation rates via the rest-frame 2000 - 2500Aflux. The high sensitivity of the Gemini/NIRI system enables us to survey an area around each cluster that is well-matched to the 3' \times 3' ACS images. We received 4 nights in the 2003A semester to observe our! spring clusters.


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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