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An Ultra Deep Field survey with WFIRST

Koekemoer, Anton M. and Foley, R. J. and Spergel, D. N. and Bagley, M. and Bezanson, R. and Bianco, F. B. and Bouwens, R. and Bradley, L. and Brammer, G. and Capak, P. and Davidzon, I. and De Rosa, G. and Dickinson, M. E. and Doré, O. and Dunlop, J. S. and Ellis, R. S. and Fan, X. and Fazio, G. G. and Ferguson, H. C. and Filippenko, A. V. and Finkelstein, S. and Frye, B. and Gawiser, E. and Grogin, N. A. and Hathi, N. P. and Hirata, C. M. and Hounsell, R. and Illingworth, G. D. and Jansen, R. A. and Jauzac, M. and Jha, S. W. and Kartaltepe, J. S. and Kim, A. G. and Kelly, P. and Kruk, J. W. and Larson, R. and Lotz, J. and Lucas, R. and Malhotra, S. and Mandel, K. and Margutti, R. and Marrone, D. and McLure, R. J. and McQuinn, K. and Melchior, P. and Mobasher, B. and Mould, J. R. and Moustakas, L. and Newman, J. A. and Papovich, C. and Peeples, M. S. and Perlmutter, S. and Pirzkal, N. and Rhoads, J. and Rhodes, J. and Robertson, B. and Rubin, D. and Ryan, R. and Scolnic, D. and Shapley, A. and Somerville, R. and Steinhardt, C. and Stiavelli, M. and Street, R. and Trenti, M. and Treu, T. and Wang, L. and Wang, Y. and Whalen, D. and Windhorst, R. A. and Wollack, E. J. and Yan, H. (2019) An Ultra Deep Field survey with WFIRST. . (Unpublished)

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Studying the formation and evolution of galaxies at the earliest cosmic times, and their role in reionization, requires the deepest imaging possible. Ultra-deep surveys like the HUDF and HFF have pushed to mag m_(AB)∼30, revealing galaxies at the faint end of the LF to z∼9−11 and constraining their role in reionization. However, a key limitation of these fields is their size, only a few arcminutes (less than a Mpc at these redshifts), too small to probe large-scale environments or clustering properties of these galaxies, crucial for advancing our understanding of reionization. Achieving HUDF-quality depth over areas ∼100 times larger becomes possible with a mission like the Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST), a 2.4-m telescope with similar optical properties to HST, with a field of view of ∼1000 arcmin^2, ∼100× the area of the HST/ACS HUDF. This whitepaper motivates an Ultra-Deep Field survey with WFIRST, covering ∼100−300× the area of the HUDF, or up to ∼1 deg^2, to m_(AB)∼30, potentially revealing thousands of galaxies and AGN at the faint end of the LF, at or beyond z∼9−10 in the epoch of reionization, and tracing their LSS environments, dramatically increasing the discovery potential at these redshifts. (Note: This paper is a somewhat expanded version of one that was submitted as input to the Astro2020 Decadal Survey, with this version including an Appendix (which exceeded the Astro2020 page limits), describing how the science drivers for a WFIRST Ultra Deep Field might map into a notional observing program, including the filters used and exposure times needed to achieve these depths.)

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Koekemoer, Anton M.0000-0002-6610-2048
Capak, P.0000-0003-3578-6843
Davidzon, I.0000-0002-2951-7519
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20190813-094200294
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:97858
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Aug 2019 18:28
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 21:35

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