Studying Galaxy Clusters

155AFB67-8D1E-4797-9BC9-9D0E93C25EACToday marks the beginning of my third week here at UCSD working with galaxy clusters. My work has been focused on identifying gravitationally lensed galaxies at redshifts between .3 and 1 that have large HII regions. The idea for this project came from the fact that a lot of astronomers are mainly interested with things at high redshifts, so there is a largely unexplored data at low redshifts. I began this project by combining ground based telescopes and HST data to create detailed fits files and using the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble(CLASH) catalog to create region files that display interesting galaxies and their redshifts. The next step was to go back and visually inspect each of the regions to see whether or not the galaxies actually had HII regions or if the catalog just marked the galaxy’s bulge. I found plenty of interesting galaxies, so I saved their information in an updated region file and created a histogram that displays the redshift vs. frequency. The plot showed that there is a small peak around a redshit of 0.7. Whether or not this is significant information will be determined after we go through another similar catalog called Relics. This week I working with a python code that creates thumbnails of each of the interesting galaxies so that I can present them to my research group at our weekly meeting.

As a side note, San Diego is really nice. I grew up in Northern California (San Francisco), so I didn’t expect things to be very different from back home. It hasn’t gotten unbearably hot over here, just humid on some days. Even on the day that it rained the temperature was nice and the sky quickly cleared up enough to go to the beach and watch the sunset.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 9.00.08 AM

-Brian Merino

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