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The Biggest Baddest Babies in the Nursery: What we are Learning about Distant Clusters of Galaxies from the SpARCS Survey

Event Details

Event Dates: 

Monday, September 16, 2013 - 4:00pm

Seminar Location: 

  • JILA Auditorium

Speaker Name(s): 

Gillian Wilson

Speaker Affiliation(s): 

University of California - Riverside
Seminar Type/Subject

Scientific Seminar Type: 

  • Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences Seminar

Event Details & Abstract: 

Between z = 2 and z = 1, the main progenitors of present-day massive clusters undergo rapid collapse, and have high rates of galaxy merging and assembly, and cluster members transform from actively star-forming to quiescent. The SpARCS survey is one of the largest surveys designed to detect clusters of galaxies at z> 1, and has discovered hundreds of IR-selected clusters in the 50 square degree Spitzer SWIRE Legacy Fields. I will begin by reviewing the importance of clusters both to cosmology and to studies of galaxy evolution. I will  show results from GCLASS, a 25-night Gemini/GMOS spectroscopic follow-up survey of ten of the most massive SpARCS clusters at z~1, and explain what this survey is teaching us about galaxy evolution in these, the densest of environments. I will also present a sample of newly-confirmed clusters at z~1.6 for which we have recently been awarded HST spectroscopy and imaging. I will conclude by discussing the motivation and challenges of hunting for protoclusters at z > 2.