Current Science at NOAO
The NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey
Buell Jannuzi and Arjun Dey, NOAO/National Science Foundation
A small portion of the survey reveals many interesting structures.
June, 1999 | A team of NOAO astronomers let by staff members Buell Jannuzi
and Arjun Dey are conducting a deep imaging survey of two
9-square-degree patches of sky in the directions of the
constellations Bootes, near the North Galactic Pole, and
Cetus, about 30 degrees from the South Galactic Pole.
These two patches of sky each cover an area equivalent
to about 46 times the area of the full moon. Their goal
is to use these deep optical and near-infrared images
to study the evolution of large-scale structure in the Universe
from z~1 to z~4, corresponding to times when the Universe was
much younger than it is today. The formation and evolution
of the galaxy populations and of distant star-forming galaxies
and quasars can also be studied from these deep survey images.
Such deep, large area surveys are now feasible due to the
improved sensitivity and size of optical and IR imaging cameras.
The optical images are being obtained with the new MOSAIC CCD
cameras on NOAO's two 4-m telescopes. Each MOSAIC image covers
a 36' x 36' field, and nearly 2000 images will be needed to
complete the optical portion of the survey through three
different color filters. Objects as faint as 28th magnitude
per square arc second (nearly a billion times fainter than
the eye can see) should be detected. The astronomers combine
the separate images in the three colors to produce true-color
optical images. The survey is already identifying candidate,
high-redshift galaxies with with redshifts between 3-4.
The tens of thousands of smaller IR images are also being
obtained in three infrared colors. Jannuzi, Dey and the rest
of the survey team are currently making survey observations with
the Ohio State/NOAO Imaging Spectrograph at the Kitt Peak
2.1-m telescope, which provides a 2.9' x 5.8' field of view.
When the upgraded SQIID infrared camera becomes available in
2000, the astronomers will be able to image the sky in three
infrared colors simultaneously over a larger, 6.5' x 6.5',
field of view.
This deep survey will be valuable in addressing many interesting
astronomical problems. The first sample data are have been
released to the community, and are available on the World Wide Web.
Further details on the survey design (e.g. field locations), updates
on the survey progress, and information on how to obtain data when
it is released is available at the Deep Wide-Field Survey Web site.
The survey is expected to be completed in 2001.
For more information see:
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