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Published 2004 | public
Book Section - Chapter

Deep Near-Infrared Imaging of Submillimeter Selected Galaxies


We report on a deep near-infrared survey of submillimeter galaxies (SMGs) using the Near Infrared Camera (NIRC) on the Keck I telescope. Of the 15 background submillimeter sources in the SCUBA Cluster Lens Survey, 12 have candidate K-band counterparts to K∼23 with a lensing-corrected median of 〈K〉=22±1 mag. For SMGs with accurate radio and/or millimeter positions, the median NIR color is 〈J−K〉=2.6 mag. Bright SMGs (K<19 mag) show normal colors around J−K∼2 mag and fainter ones are redder. We propose that the J−K color may indicate likely SMG counterparts that are too faint to be found at optical and/or radio wavelengths. The surface density of J−K>3 mag sources indicates they are more numerous than S_(850μm)>2 mJy SMGs and could either represent the faint end of the SMG population or a distinct class of high redshift galaxies. This ambiguity will be clarified by SIRTF observations of the rest-frame near-IR emission from this faint red galaxy population.

Additional Information

© 2004 Kluwer Academic Publishers. We thank the Keck Observatory staff who made these observations possible, and D. Thompson for his NIRCtools software. DTF and LA are supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. AWB and NAR acknowledge support from the NSF grant AST-0205937 and a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, respectively.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
January 14, 2024