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Deep Spitzer observations of infrared-faint radio sources: high-redshift radio-loud AGN?

05/2011;
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT Infrared-faint radio sources (IFRSs) are a rare class of object which are
relatively bright at radio wavelengths but very faint at infrared and optical
wavelengths. Here we present sensitive near-infrared observations of a sample
of these sources taken as part of the Spitzer Extragalactic Representative
Volume Survey (SERVS). Nearly all the IFRSs are undetected at a level of ~ 1
\mu$Jy in these new deep observations, and even the detections are consistent
with confusion with unrelated galaxies. A stacked image implies that the median
flux density is $S_{3.6\mu m} ~ 0.2$ \mu$Jy or less, giving extreme values of
the radio-infrared flux density ratio. Comparison of these objects with known
classes of object suggests that the majority are probably high-redshift
radio-loud galaxies, possibly suffering from significant dust extinction.

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    ABSTRACT: Radio-astronomy is about to embark on a new way of doing science. The revolution that is about to take place is not due to the enormous sensitivity of the Square Kilometre Array, which is still a decade away, but due to its pathfinders, which are pioneering new ways of doing radio-astronomy. These new ways include multi-pixel phased-array feeds, the goal of producing science-ready images from a real-time pipeline processor, and from the vast amounts of survey data that will be available in the public domain soon after observing. Here I review the data challenges that need to be addressed if we are to reap all the science that potentially resides in SKA Pathfinder data. Some challenges are obvious, such as petabytes of data storage, and some are less obvious, such as the techniques we have yet to develop to perform cross-identifications on millions of galaxies.
    e-Science Workshops, 2010 Sixth IEEE International Conference on; 01/2011

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