AAS 207th Meeting, 8-12 January 2006
Session 170 Cosmology, Early Universe, Cosmic Distance Scale
Poster, Thursday, 9:20am-4:00pm, January 12, 2006, Exhibit Hall

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[170.20] A High Redshift Survey Using Deep Near-Infrared Imaging

E R Stanway, A J Barger, L Trouille (UW-Madison), L L Cowie (IFA Hawaii)

We use deep multi-wavelength imaging in the optical and near infrared to identify bright high redshift candidates in a widefield region surrounding the Hubble Deep Field North.

The faint galaxy population at high redshift (z>5) has recently been the subject of intensive research, largely based on Hubble Space Telescope imaging. However many of the galaxy candidates thus identified are inaccessible to the current generation of spectrographs and ground based telescopes. Ground based imaging presents the opportunity to identify brighter high redshift candidates, but has its own complications - notably the difficulty of distinguishing lower redshift contaminants from high redshift sources.

The long wavelength baseline of our imaging, and in particular our new near-infrared J and H band observations (reaching HAB=23.5, 3 sigma), enable effective seperation of high redshift galaxies and AGN from galactic class M, L and T stars. We find that samples of sources with extreme colours are dominated by Galactic stars at the relatively bright magnitudes accessible to widefield imaging. The large area of our field, combined with our clean selection, enable us to place constraints on the bright end of the ultraviolet-luminous galaxy luminosity function and the abundance of low luminosity AGN at z>5.

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