AR 13889 (Archival Research)

Sun Jul 14 04:15:58 GMT 2024

Principal Investigator: Jennifer Lotz
PI Institution: Space Telescope Science Institute
Investigators (xml)

Title: Galaxy Mergers, AGN, and Quenching in z > 1 Proto-Clusters
Cycle: 22

We propose to use the densest known environments at 1 < z < 2 as laboratories to understand the importance of galaxy mergers in the formation and quenching of massive bulge-dominated galaxies. High redshift proto-clusters are the progenitors of today's massive clusters; yet at z > 1, they are less dense, with lower velocity dispersions, active star-formation, and are often recently assembled unrelaxed systems. Direct and indirect evidence points to rapid rates of galaxy assembly via mergers in these environments as compared to the field {e.g. Lotz et al. 2013}. Therefore, they are ideal places for studying the connection between galaxy mergers, bulge formation, AGN activity, and quenching at this critical time in formation of early-type galaxies. We propose to use HST archival imaging and grism data of 18 z > 1 proto-clusters to identify galaxy mergers, emission-line AGN, and quenching spheroids. By comparing stellar mass controlled samples from proto-clusters to those drawn from CANDELS/3D-HST field samples, we will determine if bulge formation, AGN triggering, and quenching in massive galaxies at z > 1 are driven by galaxy mergers.