AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 80 Evolution of Galaxies, Galaxies Surveys II
Poster, Tuesday, 9:20am-6:30pm, January 10, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[80.05] VICS: The Virgo Intra-Cluster Stars Project

R. Ciardullo, B.F. Williams (Penn State), P.R. Durrell (YSU), M. Vinciguerra (Penn State), J.J. Feldmeier (NOAO), G.H. Jacoby (WIYN), S. Sigurdsson (Penn State), T. von Hippel (U. Texas), H. Ferguson (STScI), N. Tanvir (U. Hertfordshire), M. Arnaboldi (Torino Obs./ESO), O. Gerhard (MPE Garching), A. Aguerri (IAC), K.C. Freeman (Mt. Stromlo)

The Virgo Intra-Cluster Stars (VICS) project is a 37 orbit HST\/ program to study the stellar constituents of Virgo's intracluster space. The survey is centered on a region of space 180~kpc (projected) from the nearest major galaxy (M~86), at a location where the underlying cluster surface brightness is \muV ~27.5 ±0.5. The data include extremely deep V (F606W) and I (F814W)-band images with the ACS, parallel I-band images with WFPC2, and parallel J and H images with NIC3. The ACS\/ images alone contain ~4000 intracluster red giant candidates, 4 probable intracluster globular clusters, one previously uncatalogued dwarf spheroidal galaxy, and many V-band dropouts, both resolved and unresolved. The principle goal of the survey is to determine the metallicity distribution of Virgo's intracluster stars and thereby constrain their origins. However, since the images extend down to I\rm lim ~ 28.7 and V\rm lim ~30.0, they are amongst the deepest HST\/ images ever taken. The data therefore have many other uses in astrophysics.

Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant number GO-10131 from the Space Telescope Science Institute.

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