Local member of the collaboration: Dr. Anne-Marie Weijmans.
The ATLAS3D project (Cappellari et al. 2011) combines a multi-wavelength survey of a complete sample of 260 early-type galaxies within the local (42Mpc) volume (1.16×105 Mpc3) with numerical simulations and semi-analytic modeling of galaxy formation. This project aims to quantify the global stellar kinematics and dynamics of a statistically significant sample of objects to characterize the class of early-type galaxies, and relate this to their formation and evolution.
The observational part of the project consists of optical integral-field spectroscopy using the SAURON integral-field unit on the William Herschel Telescope (WHT), radio and millimeter observation with the Westerbork Radio Synthesis Telescope (WRST), the IRAM 30m telescope and the Combined Array for Research in Millimeter-wave Astronomy (CARMA).
The data will be released at the completion of the project, providing a unique Legacy Survey.
State-of-the-art numerical simulations will help and support the interpretation of this unique set of data, assessing signatures in the dynamics and stellar populations of the formation and evolution processes of early-type galaxies. An extensive series of high resolution N-body + gas (SPH and/or sticky particles) simulations are being performed, including e.g., star formation and feedback, both for isolated or interacting galaxies, binary and multiple mergers, as well as cosmologically motivated simulations.
Palomar Transient Factory
Local member of the collaboration: Nick Law (Project Scientist).
The Palomar Transient Factory is a transient search using an 8-square-degree imager on the Palomar 48-inch telescope.
The system has been running reliably since January 2009. PTF (PI: Shri Kulkarni) is a collaboration of over 70 people in many institutions. The system completed commissioning in summer 2009; a full description of the system is published in Law et al. 2009 (PASP 121.1395L).
PTF has already found over a thousand extragalactic transients and discovered a whole new class of supernova!
Local member of the collaboration: Nick Law (PI). PTF/M-dwarfs is a new search for giant planets around M-dwarfs using data from the Palomar Transient Factory, as well as follow-up by other telescopes.
The project took its first observations at the end of 2009 and involves teams from Caltech, LCOGT and Hawaii.
So far we have observed over 100,000 M-dwarfs, with sensitivity to planetary transits around each one.
MAAPS, the M-dwarf Astrometric AO Planet Search, is a Palomar adaptive-optics astrometry program. The search achieves 100-200 microarcsecond astrometric precision, sufficient to detect Jupiter-mass planets around mid-M-dwarfs.
The Mapping Nearby Galaxies at APO (MANGA) project is one of the 3 programs that will take place during the fourth incarnation of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Bundling together the individual fibers in the existing BOSS spectrograph into small integral-field units (IFUs), MaNGA will study nearly 10,000 galaxies over the 6 year lifetime of the survey. The data provided will permit astronomers at the Dunlap Institute and partner institutions to study the kinematics, chemistry, and gas content of galaxies in the modern universe in exquisite detail and serve as a comparison sample with which to understand the growth of galaxies across cosmic time.