Cutting edge extragalactic astronomy is requiring deeper and/or wider surveys, necessitating major allocations of time on the world’s largest telescopes. The UCR astronomy faculty are lead investigators in the largest surveys with the Keck Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope. Below is a summary of some of the surveys with which we are involved.
MOSDEF – The largest current allocation of Keck time to any survey, MOSDEF is using 47 nights on the Keck I telescope over the next four years (2013-2016) to obtain rest-frame optical spectra of ~1700 galaxies at 1 < z < 3.5, the peak epoch of star formation. Multiple studies are being conducted on metallicity evolution, dust extinction, AGN activity, and quenching of star formation. Three of the six co-PIs are at UC Riverside (Reddy, Siana, Mobasher). A complimentary survey of high redshift clusters is also being carried out to study environmental trends. (Wilson)
CANDELS – The largest allocation of Hubble time ever, CANDELS is obtaining 902 orbits of near infrared and ultraviolet imaging of the five most well studied extragalactic fields (GOODS-North, GOODS-South, Extended Groth Strip, UKIDSS Ultra Deep Survey (UDS), and COSMOS. The primary science goals are to find high redshift (z > 6) galaxies, characterize the morphologies of galaxies at the peak star-formation epoch (z~2), and measure the expansion rate of the universe with high redshift (z > 1) type Ia supernovae. (Mobasher, Reddy, Siana)
Hubble Frontier Fields – Several groups at UCR are involved in large Hubble and Keck follow-up programs of the new Hubble Frontier Field initiative. The Frontier Fields are six massive lensing clusters that are being imaged extensively with the Hubble Space Telescope. The magnification provided by gravitational lensing allows detailed study of very faint background galaxies.
WISP – The WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallel (WISP) Survey is obtaining 700+ orbits of Hubble near-infrared slitless spectroscopy in pure parallel mode. It will provide an unbiased measure of the global rate of star and black hole formation, the mass metallicity relation, and the importance of dust extinction over the last 10 billion years (z < 2.3). (Siana)
COSMOS – In 2003 and 2004, HST imaged 2 sq. degrees of the sky with a single optical filter (F814W), detecting more than two million galaxies. Subsequently, the world’s largest ground and space-based observatories have allocated large amounts of time complementing these data with UV, optical, and IR imaging, as well as large spectroscopic survey programs. COSMOS is providing insight into galaxy formation over the last 7 billion years, and its wide area enables study of rare, luminous objects (eg. massive starbursts). (Mobasher)
LAMP – The Lick AGN Monitoring Program is a large survey using the 3-meter Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory to measure AGN variability to determine the sizes of broad line regions and masses of the galaxies’ central black holes. (Canalizo)
SPARCS – The Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-Sequence Cluster Survey is a combined NOAO optical and Spitzer Space Telescope imaging program to identify and understand the formation of the largest bound structures (galaxy clusters) in the early universe (z > 1). (Wilson)
KBSS – The Keck Baryonic Structure Survey (KBSS) is a unique spectroscopic survey which combines high precision measurements of the circumgalactic and intergalactic medium with targeted galaxy redshift surveys of the surrounding volumes. The survey is expressly designed to investigate the interchange of baryons between galaxies and the intergalactic medium in the redshift range 1.8<z<3.0, corresponding to the peak of cosmic star formation; it also allows for a number of other investigations of the stellar populations, dust content, and physical conditions within the interstellar medium of typical star-forming galaxies at these epochs. (Reddy)
GOODS-Herschel – The GOODS-Herschel survey is a large investment of 300+ hours of deep Herschel PACS and SPIRE far-infrared imaging of the GOODS North and South fields. This survey is designed to obtain a more complete census of obscured star formation over a large fraction of cosmic history, and investigate the dust content and properties of low and high redshift galaxies. (Reddy)