Friday, May 3, 2013

Integral Field Unit observations of an occulting pair of galaxies

Back in 2009, I published a paper on an occulting galaxy pair that JD (Prof. Dalcanton) found in her ANGST survey. She showed me the jpeg and I was off to the races. Paper came with a moderate amount of stick as the image became a Hubble Heritage picture. And it's still in use as my background, twitter icon and what have you.

Hey! it's *my* image now.

So as part of a follow-up campaign, I asked the ATCA to perform HI line observations (neutral gas) and the Very Large Telescope (no kidding non-astronomers) for Integral Field Unit observations. The cool thing about those is that you get a spectrum for every pixel in your image. Compare two spectra, one in the overlap and one tangentially across from it and you get the extinction curve which tells you something about the composition of fine dust particles in the foreground spiral galaxies. For that particular bit of the foreground disk. Neat. It works. Very well....

Now I need...oh a dozen or more of these kind of observations. The ESO proposal is in of course but the paper on the VIMOS observations is also accepted! Proofing and done!

you can find the pre-print here.

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