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NEWFIRM Medium Band Survey


The NEWFIRM Medium-Band Survey (NMBS) used the NOAO Extremely Wide-Field Infrared Imager (NEWFIRM) on the KPNO Mayall 4 m Telescope to obtain deep near-IR (NIR) medium-bandwidth photometry over the wavelength range 1-1.8 μm + K-band in the All-wavelength Extended Groth strip International Survey (AEGIS) and Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) fields. The NMBS team (Whitaker at al. 2011) computes photometric redshifts for objects in the fields using 37 (20) filters in the COSMOS (AEGIS) fields, combining the NIR medium-bandwidth data with existing UV (Galaxy Evolution Explorer), visible and NIR (Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and Subaru Telescope), and mid-IR (Spitzer/IRAC) imaging. They find excellent agreement with publicly available spectroscopic redshifts, with σz/(1 + z) ~ 1%-2% for ~ 4000 galaxies at z = 0-3. The NMBS catalogs contain ~13,000 galaxies at z > 1.5 with accurate photometric redshifts and rest-frame colors. Due to the increased spectral resolution obtained with the five NIR medium-band filters, the median 68% confidence intervals of the photometric redshifts of both quiescent and star-forming galaxies are a factor of about two times smaller when comparing catalogs with medium-band NIR photometry to NIR broadband photometry.

NMBS at a Glance

PI(s) Pieter van Dokkum
Proposal ID 2008A-0035
Years of Observation 2008-2009
Area covered: Deep NIR imaging of the AEGIS and COSMOS fields
Bands J1, J2, J3, H1, H2, K
AEGIS Depth (5σ) (J1, J2, J3, H1, H2, K) = (21.9, 22.0, 21.3, 21.1, 21.4, 21.5)
COSMOS Depth (5σ) (J1, J2, J3, H1, H2, K) = (21.7, 21.5, 21.4, 21.3, 20.9, 21.5)
AEGIS Seeing (J1, J2, J3, H1, H2, K) = (1.1, 1.2, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1, 1.1) arcsec
COSMOS Seeing (J1, J2, J3, H1, H2, K) = (1.2, 1.2, 1.1, 1.0, 1.2, 1.1) arcsec
Number of images 12 Deep stacks (6 filters in 2 fields)