PI: Christopher Churchill, New Mexico State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: Astronomy Department, MSC 4500 / PO Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88003, USA
CoI: Jessica L. Evans, New Mexico State University
CoI: Michael Murphy, University of Cambridge
CoI: Allison Widhalm, New Mexico State University
Title: Complete Quasar--Field Galaxy Imaging Program
Abstract: Intermediate redshift galaxies selected via quasar absorption lines hold tremendous potential for providing observational constraints on the role of gas in galaxy evolution and the galaxy/IGM interface. However, this potential has never been fully exploited, but only marginally realized through various small samples using a variety of selection criteria, range of sensitivity levels to both galaxy luminosities and absorption strengths, and (in many cases) an incomplete census of the galaxies in the quasar fields. We are piloting a project called the Complete Quasar-Field Galaxy Imaging Program with the goal of obtaining a census of all galaxies in selected quasar fields to a uniform sensitivity and to a uniform projected separation (D ~ 2 Mpc) from the quasar. The quasar fields are selected from fully reduced HIRES/Keck and/or UVES/VLT optical quasar spectra, which are sensitive to \MgII absorption to a rest-frame equivalent width of ~ 0.03 A and velocity resolution of ~ 6 km/s. These spectra cover both the northern and southern hemispheres. We propose to pilot this program by obtaining SDSS r' band images of 36 northern and southern quasar fields using the MOSAIC-I and II on the KPNO and CTIO 4- meter telescopes. The images will be complete to r'=24 for galaxies subtending 3'' (or \left< (mu)_r'=25.4 \right> mag arcsec^- 2). Our successful pilot of 36 fields will be instrumental for developing a survey program to image ~ 200 fields. We aim to constrain the geometric shape and covering factor of extended gaseous halos.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360