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Published July 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

HerMES: SPIRE galaxy number counts at 250, 350, and 500 μm


Emission at far-infrared wavelengths makes up a significant fraction of the total light detected from galaxies over the age of Universe. Herschel provides an opportunity for studying galaxies at the peak wavelength of their emission. Our aim is to provide a benchmark for models of galaxy population evolution and to test pre-existing models of galaxies. With the Herschel Multi-tiered Extra-galactic survey, HerMES, we have observed a number of fields of different areas and sensitivity using the SPIRE instrument on Herschel. We have determined the number counts of galaxies down to ~20 mJy. Our constraints from directly counting galaxies are consistent with, though more precise than, estimates from the BLAST fluctuation analysis. We have found a steep rise in the Euclidean normalised counts <100 mJy. We have directly resolved ~15% of the infrared extra-galactic background at the wavelength near where it peaks.

Additional Information

© 2010 ESO. Received 1 April 2010; Accepted 12 May 2010; Published online 16 July 2010. Herschel is an ESA space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led Principal Investigator consortia and with important participation from NASA. Oliver, Wang and Smith were supported by UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council grant ST/F002858/1. SPIRE has been developed by a consortium of institutes led by Cardiff Univ. (UK) and including Univ. Lethbridge (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, LAM (France); IFSI, Univ. Padua (Italy); IAC (Spain); Stockholm Observatory (Sweden); Imperial College London, RAL, UCL-MSSL, UKATC, Univ. Sussex (UK); Caltech, JPL, NHSC, Univ. Colorado (USA). This development has been supported by national funding agencies: CSA (Canada); NAOC (China); CEA, CNES, CNRS (France); ASI (Italy); MCINN (Spain); SNSB (Sweden); STFC (UK); and NASA (USA). HIPE is a joint development (are joint developments) by the Herschel Science Ground Segment Consortium, consisting of ESA, the NASA Herschel Science Center, and the HIFI, PACS and SPIRE consortia". The data presented in this paper will be released through the Herschel Database in Marseille HeDaM (hedam.oamp.fr/HerMES).

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