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: 11.22). 12/2011; 197(2):36. DOI: 10.1088/0067-0049/197/2/36


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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    ABSTRACT: The Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) is designed to document the first third of galactic evolution, over the approximate redshift (z) range 8--1.5. It will image >250,000 distant galaxies using three separate cameras on the Hubble Space Telescope, from the mid-ultraviolet to the near-infrared, and will find and measure Type Ia supernovae at z>1.5 to test their accuracy as standardizable candles for cosmology. Five premier multi-wavelength sky regions are selected, each with extensive ancillary data. The use of five widely separated fields mitigates cosmic variance and yields statistically robust and complete samples of galaxies down to a stellar mass of 10^9 M_\odot to z \approx 2, reaching the knee of the ultraviolet luminosity function (UVLF) of galaxies to z \approx 8. The survey covers approximately 800 arcmin^2 and is divided into two parts. The CANDELS/Deep survey (5\sigma\ point-source limit H=27.7 mag) covers \sim 125 arcmin^2 within GOODS-N and GOODS-S. The CANDELS/Wide survey includes GOODS and three additional fields (EGS, COSMOS, and UDS) and covers the full area to a 5\sigma\ point-source limit of H \gtrsim 27.0 mag. Together with the Hubble Ultra Deep Fields, the strategy creates a three-tiered "wedding cake" approach that has proven efficient for extragalactic surveys. Data from the survey are nonproprietary and are useful for a wide variety of science investigations. In this paper, we describe the basic motivations for the survey, the CANDELS team science goals and the resulting observational requirements, the field selection and geometry, and the observing design. The Hubble data processing and products are described in a companion paper.
    The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series 05/2011; 197(2). DOI:10.1088/0067-0049/197/2/35 · 11.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We examine predictions for the quasar luminosity functions (QLF) and quasar clustering at high redshift (z > 4.75) using MassiveBlack, our new hydrodynamic cosmological simulation which includes a self-consistent model for black hole growth and feedback. We show that the model reproduces the Sloan QLF within observational constraints at z >= 5. We find that the high-z QLF is consistent with a redshift-independent occupation distribution of BHs among dark matter halos (which we provide) such that the evolution of the QLF follows that of the halo mass function. The sole exception is the bright-end at z=6 and 7, where BHs in high-mass halos tend to be unusually bright due to extended periods of Eddington growth caused by high density cold flows into the halo center. We further use these luminosity functions to make predictions for the number density of quasars in upcoming surveys, predicting there should be ~119+-28 (~87+-28) quasars detectable in the F125W band of the WIDE (DEEP) fields of the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) from z=5-6, ~19+-7 (~18+-9) from z=6-7, and ~1.7+-1.5 (~1.5+-1.5) from z=7-8. We also investigate quasar clustering, finding that the correlation length is fully consistent with current constraints for Sloan quasars (r_0~17 h^{-1} Mpc at z=4 for quasars above m_i = 20.2), and grows slowly with redshift up to z=6 (r_0~22 h^{-1} Mpc). Finally, we note that the quasar clustering strength depends weakly on luminosity for low L_BH, but gets stronger at higher L_BH as the BHs are found in higher mass halos.
    Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 07/2011; 424(3). DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21294.x · 5.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a strong-lensing analysis of the galaxy cluster MACS J1206.2-0847 ($z$=0.44) using UV, Optical, and IR, HST/ACS/WFC3 data taken as part of the CLASH multi-cycle treasury program, with VLT/VIMOS spectroscopy for some of the multiply-lensed arcs. The CLASH observations, combined with our mass-model, allow us to identify 47 new multiply-lensed images of 12 distant sources. These images, along with the previously known arc, span the redshift range $1\la z\la5.5$, and thus enable us to derive a detailed mass distribution and to accurately constrain, for the first time, the inner mass-profile of this cluster. We find an inner profile slope of $d\log \Sigma/d\log \theta\simeq -0.55\pm 0.1$ (in the range [1\arcsec, 53\arcsec], or $5\la r \la300$ kpc), as commonly found for relaxed and well-concentrated clusters. Using the many systems uncovered here we derive credible critical curves and Einstein radii for different source redshifts. For a source at $z_{s}\simeq2.5$, the critical curve encloses a large area with an effective Einstein radius of $\theta_{E}=28\pm3\arcsec$, and a projected mass of $1.34\pm0.15\times10^{14} M_{\odot}$. From the current understanding of structure formation in concordance cosmology, these values are relatively high for clusters at $z\sim0.5$, so that detailed studies of the inner mass distribution of clusters such as MACS J1206.2-0847 can provide stringent tests of the $\Lambda$CDM paradigm.
    The Astrophysical Journal 07/2011; 749(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/749/2/97 · 5.99 Impact Factor
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