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Accounting for Cosmic Variance in Studies of Gravitationally Lensed High-redshift Galaxies in the Hubble Frontier Field Clusters

Robertson, Brant E. and Ellis, Richard S. and Dunlop, James S. and McLure, Ross J. and Stark, Dan P. and McLeod, Derek (2014) Accounting for Cosmic Variance in Studies of Gravitationally Lensed High-redshift Galaxies in the Hubble Frontier Field Clusters. Astrophysical Journal Letters, 796 (2). Art. No. L27. ISSN 2041-8205. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141217-103305633

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Abstract

Strong gravitational lensing provides a powerful means for studying faint galaxies in the distant universe. By magnifying the apparent brightness of background sources, massive clusters enable the detection of galaxies fainter than the usual sensitivity limit for blank fields. However, this gain in effective sensitivity comes at the cost of a reduced survey volume and, in this Letter, we demonstrate that there is an associated increase in the cosmic variance uncertainty. As an example, we show that the cosmic variance uncertainty of the high-redshift population viewed through the Hubble Space Telescope Frontier Field cluster Abell 2744 increases from ~35% at redshift z ~ 7 to ≳65% at z ~ 10. Previous studies of high-redshift galaxies identified in the Frontier Fields have underestimated the cosmic variance uncertainty that will affect the ultimate constraints on both the faint-end slope of the high-redshift luminosity function and the cosmic star formation rate density, key goals of the Frontier Field program.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/2041-8205/796/2/L27DOIArticle
http://iopscience.iop.org/2041-8205/796/2/L27/articlePublisherArticle
http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.0962arXivDiscussion Paper
Additional Information:© 2014 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2014 October 3; accepted 2014 October 16; published 2014 November 18. We thank Hakim Atek for providing tabulated data. B.E.R. is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under grant No. 1228509, grant No. NSF PHY11-25915 which funds the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and by the Space Telescope Science Institute under award HST-GO-12498.01-A. J.S.D. acknowledges the support of the European Research Council via the award of an Advanced Grant, and the contribution of the EC FP7 SPACE project ASTRODEEP (Ref. No. 312725). R.J.M. acknowledges ERC funding via the award of a consolidator grant (PI: McLure).
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF1228509
NSFPHY11-25915
Space Telescope Science InstituteHST-GO-12498.01-A
European Research Council (European Union)UNSPECIFIED
EC FP7 SPACE project ASTRODEEP312725
Subject Keywords:galaxies: high-redshift, galaxies: statistics, gravitational lensing: strong
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141217-103305633
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20141217-103305633
Official Citation:Accounting for Cosmic Variance in Studies of Gravitationally Lensed High-redshift Galaxies in the Hubble Frontier Field Clusters Brant E. Robertson et al. 2014 ApJ 796 L27
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:52954
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:17 Dec 2014 19:32
Last Modified:08 Jan 2015 22:03

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