[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ALHAMBRA (Advance Large Homogeneous Area Medium Band Redshift
Astronomical) survey has observed 8 different regions of the sky, including
sections of the COSMOS, DEEP2, ELAIS, GOODS-N, SDSS and Groth fields using a
new photometric system with 20 contiguous ~ $300\AA$ filters covering the
optical range, combining them with deep $JHKs$ imaging. The observations,
carried out with the Calar Alto 3.5m telescope using the wide field (0.25 sq.
deg FOV) optical camera LAICA and the NIR instrument Omega-2000, correspond to
~700hrs on-target science images. The photometric system was designed to
maximize the effective depth of the survey in terms of accurate spectral-type
and photo-zs estimation along with the capability of identification of
relatively faint emission lines. Here we present multicolor photometry and
photo-zs for ~438k galaxies, detected in synthetic F814W images, complete down
to I~24.5 AB, taking into account realistic noise estimates, and correcting by
PSF and aperture effects with the ColorPro software. The photometric ZP have
been calibrated using stellar transformation equations and refined internally,
using a new technique based on the highly robust photometric redshifts measured
for emission line galaxies. We calculate photometric redshifts with the BPZ2
code, which includes new empirically calibrated templates and priors. Our
photo-zs have a precision of $dz/(1+z_s)=1%$ for I<22.5 and 1.4% for
22.5<I<24.5. Precisions of less than 0.5% are reached for the brighter
spectroscopic sample, showing the potential of medium-band photometric surveys.
The global $P(z)$ shows a mean redshift =0.56 for I<22.5 AB and =0.86 for
I<24.5 AB. The data presented here covers an effective area of 2.79 sq. deg,
split into 14 strips of 58.5'x15.5' and represents ~32 hrs of on-target.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ALHAMBRA is a project to gather data to sample a fraction of the Universe with enough precision to follow the evolution of its content and properties with z, a kind of Cosmic Tomography. It is defined as a 4 square degrees photometric survey with 20 contiguous, equal width, medium band filters covering from 3500 to 9700 A, plus the JHKs NIR bands. It was optimized to get (for a fixed observing time) the maximum number of objects with accurate classification and redshift and to be sensitive to relatively faint emission features. The observations will be carried out with the 3.5m telescope in Calar Alto (Spain). We intend to reach the limit AB=25 in all the optical filters from the bluest to 8300 A, and from 24.7 to 23.4 for the remainder. The expected limit in the NIR is fixed at Ks=20, H=21, J=22. The homogeneous and contiguous spectral coverage will result in several hundred thousand objects with accurate SED identification and z-values. The accuracy of the survey will allow to make detailed studies, including galactic, without the need for any further follow-up. Indeed, it will provide exciting targets for large telescopes, the GTC in particular.