The Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey-Infrared (NGVS-IR). I. A New Near-Ultraviolet, Optical, and Near-Infrared Globular Cluster Selection Tool

TitleThe Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey-Infrared (NGVS-IR). I. A New Near-Ultraviolet, Optical, and Near-Infrared Globular Cluster Selection Tool
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMuñoz, R P, Puzia, T H, A. con, L\c, Peng, E W, Côté, P, Ferrarese, L, Blakeslee, J P, Mei, S, Cuillandre, J-C, Hudelot, P, Courteau, S, Duc, P-A, Balogh, M L, Boselli, A, Bournaud, F, Carlberg, R G, Chapman, S C, Durrell, P, Eigenthaler, P, Emsellem, E, Gavazzi, G, Gwyn, S, Huertas-Company, M, Ilbert, O, Jordán, A, Läsker, R, Licitra, R, Liu, C, MacArthur, L, McConnachie, A, McCracken, H J, Mellier, Y, Peng, C Y, Raichoor, A, Taylor, M A, Tonry, J L, Tully, R B, Zhang, H
Keywordsgalaxies: clusters: individual: Virgo, galaxies: distances and redshifts, galaxies: luminosity function, galaxies: photometry, galaxies: star clusters: general, mass function

{The NGVS-IR project (Next Generation Virgo Cluster Survey-Infrared) is a contiguous, near-infrared imaging survey of the Virgo cluster of galaxies. It complements the optical wide-field survey of Virgo (NGVS). In its current state, NGVS-IR consists of K$_{s}$ -band imaging of 4 deg$^{2}$ centered on M87 and J- and K$_{s}$ -band imaging of \~{}16 deg$^{2}$ covering the region between M49 and M87. We present observations of the central 4 deg$^{2}$ centered on Virgo's core region. The data were acquired with WIRCam on the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope, and the total integration time was 41 hr distributed over 34 contiguous tiles. A survey-specific strategy was designed to account for extended galaxies while still measuring accurate sky brightness within the survey area. The average 5{$\sigma$} limiting magnitude is K$_{s}$ = 24.4 AB mag, and the 50% completeness limit is K$_{s}$ = 23.75 AB mag for point-source detections, when using only images with better than 0.''7 seeing (median seeing 0.''54). Star clusters are marginally resolved in these image stacks, and Virgo galaxies with $\backslash$mu \_$\{$K\_s$\}$ $\backslash$simeq 24.4 AB mag arcsec$^{-2}$ are detected. Combining the K$_{s}$ data with optical and ultraviolet data, we build the uiK$_{s}$ color-color diagram, which allows a very clean color-based selection of globular clusters in Virgo. This diagnostic plot will provide reliable globular cluster candidates for spectroscopic follow-up campaigns, needed to continue the exploration of Virgo's photometric and kinematic substructures, and will help the design of future searches for globular clusters in extragalactic systems. We show that the new uiK$_{s}$ diagram displays significantly clearer substructure in the distribution of stars, globular clusters, and galaxies than the gzK$_{s}$ diagram{\mdash}the NGVS + NGVS-IR equivalent of the BzK diagram that is widely used in cosmological surveys. Equipped with this powerful new tool, future NGVS-IR investigations based on the uiK$_{s}$ diagram will address the mapping and analysis of extended structures and compact stellar systems in and around Virgo galaxies. Based on observations obtained with WIRCam, a joint project of Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), Taiwan, Korea, Canada, France, and the 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 of France, and the University of Hawaii. }