Multi-Epoch Nearby Cluster Survey


The Multi-Epoch Nearby Cluster Survey (MENeaCS) is a deep imaging survey of a sample of the nearest 60 massive clusters of galaxies that can be observed with CFHT. The project is currently scheduled on the telescope and is expected to be completed by the end of the 2009B semester. Once completed the data will consist of deep, sub-arcsecond exposures of almost one hour in g’ and r’. Not only enables this a great study of intracluster light (ICL), but it also allows for the study of the dark matter halos of cluster members through weak lensing. Finally, by acquiring data once every CFHT queue run, we search the data for supernovae in order to constrain the SN rates in galaxy clusters. Finally a rich data set such as the MENeaCS provides ample opportunities for a number of ancillary projects, including a search for objects in our Solar System beyond 50AU!

The team: The MENeaCS team is (still) relatively small, with graduate students in an active role:

Henk Hoekstra (PI)          Leiden Observatory/University of Victoria

Melissa Graham              University of Victoria

David Sand                     University of Arizona

Chris Bildfell                   University of Victoria

Chris Pritchet                  University of Victoria

Dennis Zaritsky               University of Arizona

Andisheh Mahdavi          San Francisco State University

The sample: The sample of clusters consists of 60 massive clusters of galaxies with redshifts 0.05<z<0.12 which are observable with CFHT. Because of the smaller volume, the typical cluster in this sample has a lower mass (lower X-ray luminosity) than the CCCP clusters. But for many purposes the MENeaCS sample is a nice complementary sample, extending the range in mass. For those who like to look at pretty pictures, we have created a gallery of images.


D.J. Sand et al. 2012, ApJ, in press “The Multi-Epoch Nearby Cluster Survey: type Ia supernova rate measurement in z~0.1 clusters and the late-time delay time distribution”

D.J. Sand et al., 2011, ApJ, 729, 142 “Intracluster Supernovae in the Multi-epoch Nearby Cluster Survey”