CANDELS: The Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey—The Hubble Space Telescope Observations, Imaging Data Products, and Mosaics

The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series (Impact Factor: 14.14). 12/2011; 197(2):36. DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/197/2/36

ABSTRACT This paper describes the Hubble Space Telescope imaging data products and data reduction procedures for the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS). This survey is designed to document the evolution of galaxies and black holes at z 1.5-8, and to study Type Ia supernovae at z > 1.5. Five premier multi-wavelength sky regions are selected, each with extensive multi-wavelength observations. The primary CANDELS data consist of imaging obtained in the Wide Field Camera 3 infrared channel (WFC3/IR) and the WFC3 ultraviolet/optical channel, along with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). The CANDELS/Deep survey covers ~125 arcmin2 within GOODS-N and GOODS-S, while the remainder consists of the CANDELS/Wide survey, achieving a total of ~800 arcmin2 across GOODS and three additional fields (Extended Groth Strip, COSMOS, and Ultra-Deep Survey). We summarize the observational aspects of the survey as motivated by the scientific goals and present a detailed description of the data reduction procedures and products from the survey. Our data reduction methods utilize the most up-to-date calibration files and image combination procedures. We have paid special attention to correcting a range of instrumental effects, including charge transfer efficiency degradation for ACS, removal of electronic bias-striping present in ACS data after Servicing Mission 4, and persistence effects and other artifacts in WFC3/IR. For each field, we release mosaics for individual epochs and eventual mosaics containing data from all epochs combined, to facilitate photometric variability studies and the deepest possible photometry. A more detailed overview of the science goals and observational design of the survey are presented in a companion paper.

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