Nowhere Left to Hide: Closing in on Dusty Galaxies at High Redshift

Project Details




Dr. Andrew Baker of Rutgers University will exploit his privileged access to the Zpectrometer, an innovative new instrument at the 100-m radio telescope in Green Bank, West Virginia, and over 300 hours of observations already approved for three of the most sensitive millimeter-wave radio telescopes in their classes. He will carry out a program to map a large sky region at high angular resolution, within the deepest field ever mapped by the Very Large Array in New Mexico, and make a detailed comparison of dusty high-redshift galaxies with their closest local analogs. The goals of this comprehensive observational program are to identify, localize, and characterize broad samples of dusty, distant galaxies at the long wavelengths where the greatest fractions of their bolometric luminosities emerge. Such a direct approach is valuable in anchoring the interpretation of extensive but ambiguous optical data to a larger, more representative set of well-understood targets. Luminous, dusty galaxies in the early Universe have remained stubbornly difficult to study in detail. The new data will help to understand the role of these hidden galaxies in the cosmic histories of star formation, accretion, and mass assembly.

The project includes Dr Baker's support of community science observations with the Zpectrometer instrument by other groups in the year preceding its transition to facility instrument status, thereby broadening training and enabling an even wider variety of early Universe science. The work will improve the focus and efficiency of observing programs at the Green Bank Telescope, the (Expanded) Very Large Array, the University Radio Observatories, and the (future) Atacama Large Millimeter Array. The program involves the training of a Rutgers graduate student, probably one from an under-represented group.

Effective start/end date9/1/078/31/12


  • National Science Foundation: $291,912.00


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