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Durham e-Theses
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Studies of distant clusters of galaxies

MacLaren, Ian (1987) Studies of distant clusters of galaxies. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



A technique of constructing crude, low-resolution Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs) for galaxies in distant clusters, using a set of intermediate bandwidth filters and a CCD detector, is developed which is capable of redressing many of the problems which have previously beset work in this field. The technique has been used to study galaxies in the distant clusters 0016+16 (z = 0.54) and Abell 370 (z = 0.37).These SEDs are then used to individually classify each object in the CCD field, ascribing both an estimated redshift and a galaxy type. The SEDs have been extended into the rest-frame ultraviolet (~ 270 nm) by imaging high redshift galaxies in blue passbands. Monitoring the behaviour of the Colour-Magnitude effect in the optical and -ultraviolet (uv) regions, indicates the presence of a new class of object which exhibits excess emission in the uv whilst having optical colours similar to nearby E/SO galaxies. The significance of this uv-excess is addressed by examining the available uv spectroscopy of nearby early-type galaxies obtained from observations carried out on the International Ul traviolet Explorer satellite. This study, in conjunction with a series of crude evolutionary models, leads to the conclusion that the uv-excess is most likely a manifestation of evolutionary differences in the spectral properties of galaxies at high redshifts, resulting from increased levels of star formation. Having developed such methods for using distant clusters of galaxies as evolutionary probes, a catalogue of candidate distant clusters is constructed from high contrast copies of deep 4m photographic plates. Finally, a series of possible future observations bcised on such a resource, combining a wide range of techniques, is outlined.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:1987
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:51

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