This three-year project provides astrometry of water masers in the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the large companion spiral galaxy to the Milky Way in the Local Group of galaxies. The proper motion of the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds (LMC, and SMC) and M33 are already known with more or less adequate accuracy, but the proper motion of M31 and its many dwarf companions and stellar streams is the missing piece in the puzzle. The proper motion measurement of M31 is necessary to get a better understanding of the dark matter distribution and kinematics of the Local Group. The measurements can be expected to have a larger impact on galactic research because they constrain models of the formation and history, but also future evolution, of the Local Group of galaxies. The observations use new capabilities of the Very Long Baseline Array, Expanded Very Large Array, and High Sensitivity Array. The broader impacts of this work further include training new observers to use NSF-supported facilities. The PI integrates results from his research into the classroom and works on tools and techniques aimed to transform astronomy courses at all levels of instruction. This program will transform three courses spanning the range of instruction level from traditional lectures into question-discussion-tutorial sessions.

Agency
National Science Foundation (NSF)
Institute
Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST)
Application #
1109078
Program Officer
James Neff
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
2011-08-01
Budget End
2015-07-31
Support Year
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$579,208
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Colorado at Boulder
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
Boulder
State
CO
Country
United States
Zip Code
80309