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D.E. Vanden Berk, C. Stoughton (Fermilab), A.P.S. Crotts (Columbia U.), D. Tytler, D. Kirkman (UCSD)
We have imaged a 45 arcmin by 45 arcmin area centered on the Hubble Deep Field (HDF) in UBVRI passbands, down to respective limiting magnitudes of approximately 21.5, 22.5, 22.2, 22.2 and 21.2. The principal goals of the survey are to identify QSOs and to map structure traced by luminous galaxies and QSO absorption line systems in a wide volume containing the HDF. The area surveyed is 400 times that of the HDF, and 40 times that of the HDF Flanking Fields. We have selected QSO candidates from color space, and identified four QSOs and two narrow emission-line galaxies (NELGs) which have not previously been discovered, bringing the total number of known QSOs in the area to 20. The bright z=1.31 QSO only 12 arcmin away from the HDF fulfills for the northern HDF the design goal of HDFS, which was selected for its proximity to a bright QSO. About half of the QSO candidates remain for spectroscopic verification. Absorption line spectroscopy has been obtained for three bright QSOs in the field, using the Keck 10m, McDonald 2.7m, and MDM 2.4m telescopes. Five heavy-element absorption line systems have been identified, three of which overlap the well-explored redshift range covered by deep galaxy redshift surveys towards the HDF. The two absorbers occur at the same redshift as the second most populated redshift peak in the galaxy distribution, but each is more than 7/h Mpc (comoving) away from the HDF line of sight in the transverse dimension, indicating large sheet-like structures traversing the HDF at high redshift.