The Massive and Distant Clusters of WISE Survey: Initial Spectroscopic Confirmation of z ~ 1 Galaxy Clusters Selected from 10,000 Square Degrees [CEA]

We present optical and infrared imaging and optical spectroscopy of galaxy clusters which were identified as part of an all-sky search for high-redshift galaxy clusters, the Massive and Distant Clusters of WISE Survey (MaDCoWS). The initial phase of MaDCoWS combined infrared data from the all-sky data release of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) with optical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to select probable z ~ 1 clusters of galaxies over an area of 10,000 deg^2. Our spectroscopy confirms 19 new clusters at 0.7 < z < 1.3, half of which are at z > 1, demonstrating the viability of using WISE to identify high-redshift galaxy clusters. The next phase of MaDCoWS will use the greater depth of the AllWISE data release to identify even higher redshift cluster candidates.

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S. Stanford, A. Gonzalez, M. Brodwin, et. al.
Fri, 14 Mar 14