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Multi-coloured large area survey of the Virgo cluster
(The `Twr O Sêr' (TOS) survey)

PI: Dr Jonathan Davies

Summary of Programme

We propose to carry out a B band survey of the entire 100 square degrees of the Virgo cluster to unprecedently low surface brightness levels. In addition we intend to survey a strip 3° x 10° across the centre of the cluster at U and Z so that we can distinguish between actively star forming galaxies and those dominated by an older stellar population.

Our main interests lie in the determination of the Luminosity Function (LF) of one of the most galaxy rich regions of the nearby Universe and to derive the LF as a function of colour and position in the cluster down to luminosities equivalent to the local dwarf spheroidals. We wish to compare the star formation history of these galaxies with the proposed star formation history of the Universe (the Madau plot). We are also interested in the galaxy population down to very Low Surface Brightness (LSB) levels and a possible measurement of diffuse inter-galactic light (and associated stars).

The survey may also be used to study the large scale distribution of faint galaxies behind the cluster, inter-galactic extinction from within the cluster and the identification of quasars that may act as probes of the inter-galactic medium. The survey and subsequent image identification and classification will provide a large data set for follow up observations using large telescopes. It will be of particular value for the optical identification of sources detected in the surrent 21cm multi-beam survey, in which the Cardiff group are playing a leading role.

The complete application is available for download in gzipped postscript format.

This page last updated: 16 Jun 1998 by Nic Walton ( )

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