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Published June 20, 2009 | Published
Journal Article Open

Spectroscopic Confirmation of Two Massive Red-Sequence-Selected Galaxy Clusters at z ~ 1.2 in the SpARCS-North Cluster Survey


The Spitzer Adaptation of the Red-sequence Cluster Survey (SpARCS) is a deep z'-band imaging survey covering the Spitzer Wide-Area Infrared Extragalactic Survey (SWIRE) Legacy fields designed to create the first large homogeneously selected sample of massive clusters at z > 1 using an infrared adaptation of the cluster red-sequence method. We present an overview of the northern component of the survey which has been observed with Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)/MegaCam and covers 28.3 deg^2. The southern component of the survey was observed with Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO)/MOSAICII, covers 13.6 deg^2, and is summarized in a companion paper by Wilson et al. We also present spectroscopic confirmation of two rich cluster candidates at z ~ 1.2. Based on Nod-and-Shuffle spectroscopy from GMOS-N on Gemini, there are 17 and 28 confirmed cluster members in SpARCS J163435+402151 and SpARCS J163852+403843 which have spectroscopic redshifts of 1.1798 and 1.1963, respectively. The clusters have velocity dispersions of 490 ± 140 km s^(–1) and 650 ± 160 km s^(–1), respectively, which imply masses (M_(200)) of (1.0 ± 0.9) × 10^(14) M_⊙ and (2.4 ± 1.8) × 10^(14) M_⊙. Confirmation of these candidates as bonafide massive clusters demonstrates that two-filter imaging is an effective, yet observationally efficient, method for selecting clusters at z > 1.

Additional Information

© 2009 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2008 September 30; accepted 2009 April 13; published 2009 June 5. Based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada– France–Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii. This work is based in part on data products produced at TERAPIX and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre as part of the Canada–France–Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, a collaborative project of NRC and CNRS. Based on observations obtained at the Gemini Observatory, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf of the Gemini partnership: the National Science Foundation (United States), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (United Kingdom), the National Research Council (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council (Australia), Ministerio da Ciencia eTecnologia (Brazil), and SECYT (Argentina). This work is based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA.

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