For NYSS APS information, contact:
Dr. Erica Simoson 

"Ancestors of the Brightest Cluster Galaxies"

Kevin Cooke, RIT

The most massive galaxies in the universe are the Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs), which formed through a complex series of mergers and star formation episodes not fully understood. The extreme size of their stellar populations hints toward intense star formation episodes long ago, with the further delivery of additional stars through mergers with other galaxies.  To investigate when the most mass growth occurs, I identify galaxies using the constant and evolving number density method to identify progenitors of low redshift BCGs.  I retrieve observations from the COSMOS Hubble Space Telescope survey to construct a SED for each ancestor candidate, which is then fit to stellar, dust, and sometimes AGN models simultaneously.  By tracing the specific star formation and stellar mass of BCG ancestors in the early universe, we gain a new understanding of when the largest individual structures in the universe developed.

For program, contact:  
Dr. Heather Watson – watsonh@union.edu
Dr. Nelia Mann – mannn@union.edu
Dr. Samuel Amanuel – amanuels@union.edu
Ms. Lynnette Stec – stecl@union.edu
Phone: 518-388-6254
Fax: 518-388-6947
Department of Physics & Astronomy, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308