NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2003B-0246

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Proposal Information for 2003B-0246


PI: Duncan Farrah, California Institute of Technology, duncan@ipac.caltech.edu
Address: Infrared Processing Analysis Centre, MS 100-22, 770 S. Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

CoI: Matthew Fox, Imperial College London
CoI: Michael Rowan-Robinson, Imperial College London
CoI: Robert Priddey, Imperial College London
CoI: David Clements, Imperial College London
CoI: Jose Afonso, Lisbon Observatory
CoI: Ranga-Ram Chary, California Institute of Technology

Title: Cirrus interlopers in blank-field sub-millimetre surveys

Abstract: The discovery of large numbers of sources in blank-field sub-mm surveys, presumed to be very high redshift starburst galaxies, implies that most star formation and metal production took place at z>1. It is however possible that these samples are contaminated by more moderate redshift dusty disk galaxies with lower star formation rates, which would mean that sub-mm estimates of the global history of star formation and metal production are too high. Until recently it has been extremely difficult to test this possibility, due to the lack of suitable disk galaxy templates. We here propose K band imaging and optical spectroscopy of a recently discovered moderate redshift disk galaxy. This galaxy bears all the hallmarks of a cirrus 'interloper'; it is sub- mm bright, lies at z=0.58, and has a disk morphology. We will use these observations of this source to determine if sub-mm surveys can reliably distinguish moderate redshift cirrus galaxies from high redshift starbursts, and thus assess the potential impact of these sources on sub- mm survey results.


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