Galaxy Evolution in the NIR: Utilizing Unique Instrument Capabilities on the 11-m Southern African Large Telescope

Type Conference Paper
Names Marsha J. Wolf, A. I. Sheinis, E. J. Hooper, C. A. Tremonti, M. A. Bershady, A. J. Barger
Proceedings Title Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
Conference Name American Astronomical Society, AAS Meeting #215, #435.08
Volume 42
Pages 380
Date January 1, 2010
Short Title Galaxy Evolution in the NIR
URL http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2010AAS...21543508W
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract The Robert Stobie Spectrograph Near Infrared Arm (RSS-NIR) is a new instrument on the 11-meter Southern African Large Telescope (SALT), scheduled to begin commissioning in 2012. This versatile instrument will add capabilities that are unique to large telescopes. The main instrument modes include NIR imaging, medium resolution long slit spectroscopy over an 8 arcminute field of view (FOV), multi-object spectroscopy with custom slit masks over an 8x8 arcminute FOV, Fabry-Perot narrowband imaging over an 8 arcminute diameter FOV, and polarimetry and spectropolarimetry over a 4x8 arcminute FOV. All instrument modes can be operated simultaneously with the RSS visible arm, providing spectral coverage from 0.32-1.7 microns. We present selected planned science programs in the areas of galaxy evolution and galaxy/AGN interactions that will take advantage of the unique capabilities of RSS-NIR and the queue-scheduled SALT telescope. Projects include: spatially distributed stellar populations in post-starburst galaxies; coordinated Southern radio observations with MeerKAT (a precursor to the Square Kilometer Array in South Africa) to identify buried AGN as variable radio point sources in post-starburst galaxies; polarization spectra of buried AGN in post-starburst galaxies; structural properties and stellar population synthesis of quasar host galaxies; Fabry-Perot imaging of gas outflows in nearby quasar host galaxies; measuring star formation rates, metallicities, and AGN diagnostics of very luminous [OIII] emitters at z 0.84 identified through wide-field narrow-band imaging on the WIYN Telescope; follow-up observations of promising z=6.6 quasar candidates identified in the same survey; NIR reverberation mapping of AGN; and estimating black hole masses with NIR diagnostics of AGN.
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