The missing light of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field



Downloads per month over past year

Borlaff, Alejandro and Trujillo, Ignacio and Román, Javier and Beckman, John E. and Eliche Moral, M. Carmen and Infante Sáinz, Raúl and Lumbreras Calle, Alejandro and Takuro Sato Martín de Almagro, Rodrigo and Gómez Guijarro, Carlos and Cebrián, María and Dorta, Antonio and Cardiel López, Nicolás and Akhlaghi, Mohammad and Martínez Lombilla, Cristina (2019) The missing light of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 621 . ISSN 1432-0746

[thumbnail of cardiel106libre.pdf]

Official URL:


Context. The Hubble Ultra Deep field (HUDF) is the deepest region ever observed with the Hubble Space Telescope. With the main objective of unveiling the nature of galaxies up to z ∼ 7−8, the observing and reduction strategy have focused on the properties of small and unresolved objects, rather than the outskirts of the largest objects, which are usually over-subtracted.
Aims. We aim to create a new set of WFC3 IR mosaics of the HUDF using novel techniques to preserve the properties of the low surface brightness regions.
Methods. We created ABYSS: a pipeline that optimises the estimate and modelling of low-level systematic effects to obtain a robust background subtraction. We have improved four key points in the reduction: 1) creation of new absolute sky flat fields, 2) extended persistence models, 3) dedicated sky background subtraction and 4) robust co-adding.
Results. The new mosaics successfully recover the low surface brightness structure removed on the previous HUDF published reductions. The amount of light recovered with a mean surface brightness dimmer than µ = 26 mag arcsec^(−2) is equivalent to a m = 19 mag source when compared to the XDF and a m = 20 mag compared to the HUDF12.
Conclusions. We present a set of techniques to reduce ultra-deep images ( µ > 32.5 mag arcsec^(−2) , 3σ in 10 × 10 arcsec boxes), that successfully allow us to detect the low surface brightness structure of extended sources on ultra deep surveys. The developed procedures are applicable to HST, JWST, EUCLID and many other space and ground-based observatories.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:

© ESO 2019. The authors would like to thank the XDF and HUDF12 teams for their extraordinary work in which this contribution is based on, truly standing on the shoulders of giants. This work would not have been possible without the kind assistance of all the members of the STScI Help Desk. We specially thank Knox Long by its work on persistence effects and its extraordinary support during this work. A.B. acknowledges support from the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) as part of the Exploring the Ultra-Low Surface Brightness Universe International team. Some/all of the data presented in this paper were obtained from the Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes (MAST). STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. I.T. and C.M.L acknowledges the support from the SUNDIAL EU Network and from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 721463 and the SUNDIAL ITN network. C.M.L. acknowledges financial support from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) under grant number AYA2016-76219-P. N.C acknowledged support from the Spanish Programa Nacional de Astronimía y Astrofísica under grant AYA2016-75808-R. C.G.G. acknowledges support from the European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant funding scheme (project ConTExt, grant number 648179). Support for MAST for non-HST data is provided by the NASA Office of Space Science via grant NNX09AF08G and by other grants and contracts. This work was partly done using GNU Astronomy Utilities Gnuastro version 0.5. Gnuastro is a generic package for astronomical data manipulation and analysis which was primarily created and developed for research funded by the Monbukagakusho (Japanese government) scholarship and ERC advanced grant 339659-MUSICOS. Support for this work was provided by the Spanish Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO; grant AYA 2016-77237-C3-I-P). This research made use of Astropy ( a communitydeveloped core Python package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration 2013; Price-Whelan et al. 2018).

Uncontrolled Keywords:Alma spectroscopy survey; Tracing galaxy formation; Stellar haloes; Galactic discks; Substructure; Profiles; Z-similar-to-1; Ghost
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
ID Code:55180
Deposited On:28 May 2019 11:18
Last Modified:28 May 2019 11:29

Origin of downloads

Repository Staff Only: item control page