The Hubble Space Telescope wide field camera 3 early release science data: Panchromatic faint object counts for 0.2-2 μm wavelength

R.A. Windhorst, S.H. Cohen, N.P. Hathi, P.J. Mccarthy, R.E. Ryan, H. Yan, I.K. Baldry, Simon Driver, J.A. Frogel, D.T. Hill, L.S. Kelvin, A.M. Koekemoer, M. Mechtley, R.W. O'Connell, A.S.G. Robotham, M.J. Rutkowski, M. Seibert, A.N. Straughn, R.J. Tuffs, B. BalickH.E. Bond, H. Bushouse, D. Calzetti, M. Crockett, M.J. Disney, M.A. Dopita, D.N.B. Hall, J.A. Holtzman, S. Kaviraj, R.A. Kimble, J.W. Mackenty, M. Mutchler, F. Paresce, A. Saha, J.I. Silk, J.T. Trauger, A.R. Walker, B.C. Whitmore, E.T. Young

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    We describe the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) Early Release Science (ERS) observations in the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) South field. The new WFC3 ERS data provide calibrated, drizzled mosaics in the UV filters F225W, F275W, and F336W, as well as in the near-IR filters F098M (Ys), F125W (J), and F160W (H) with 1–2 HST orbits per filter. Together with the existing HST Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) GOODS-South mosaics in the BViz filters, these panchromatic 10-band ERS data cover 40–50 arcmin2 at 0.2–1.7 μm in wavelength at 0farcs07–0farcs15 FWHM resolution and 0farcs090 Multidrizzled pixels to depths of AB sime 26.0–27.0 mag (5σ) for point sources, and AB sime 25.5–26.5 mag for compact galaxies. In this paper, we describe (1) the scientific rationale, and the data taking plus reduction procedures of the panchromatic 10-band ERS mosaics, (2) the procedure of generating object catalogs across the 10 different ERS filters, and the specific star–galaxy separation techniques used, and (3) the reliability and completeness of the object catalogs from the WFC3 ERS mosaics. The excellent 0farcs07–0farcs15 FWHM resolution of HST/WFC3 and ACS makes star–galaxy separation straightforward over a factor of 10 in wavelength to AB sime 25–26 mag from the UV to the near-IR, respectively. Our main results are: (1) proper motion of faint ERS stars is detected over 6 years at 3.06 ± 0.66 mas year−1 (4.6σ), consistent with Galactic structure models; (2) both the Galactic star counts and the galaxy counts show mild but significant trends of decreasing count slopes from the mid-UV to the near-IR over a factor of 10 in wavelength; (3) combining the 10-band ERS counts with the panchromatic Galaxy and Mass Assembly survey counts at the bright end (10 mag lesssim AB lesssim 20 mag) and the Hubble Ultra Deep Field counts in the BVizYsJH filters at the faint end (24 mag lesssim AB lesssim 30 mag) yields galaxy counts that are well measured over the entire flux range 10 mag lesssim AB lesssim 30 mag for 0.2–2 μm in wavelength; (4) simple luminosity+density evolution models can fit the galaxy counts over this entire flux range. However, no single model can explain the counts over this entire flux range in all 10 filters simultaneously. More sophisticated models of galaxy assembly are needed to reproduce the overall constraints provided by the current panchromatic galaxy counts for 10 mag lesssim AB lesssim 30 mag over a factor of 10 in wavelength.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-33
    JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
    Issue number27
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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