mountain profile Institute for Astronomy University of Hawaii

Research Experience for Undergrads (REU) at IfA 2004 (Srostlik presentation)

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High Redshift Galaxies: Finding the Real Thing

Zuzana Srostlik
Mentor: Esther Hu

The purpose of this research is to better understand which qualities will uniquely distinguish true high redshift galaxies from objects like red stars and foreground galaxies. By using the criteria for targets that they should have significantly less emission at bluer wavelengths (or be absent through a blue filter) than in the red and that they should be very bright through a narrow band filter in comparison to the optical images, 15 targets were chosen. Since the observations to confirm if the targets were high redshift galaxies were infrared images, the reduction process included adding single short exposures into mosaics because the high thermal and non-thermal infrared background would otherwise flood the CCDs and drown out the already faint emission. The mosaics were then added together, using reduction routines which find median values from all of the mosaic fields to minimize background noise, to make final images which were bright enough to see the target object or be able to pick it out using further reduction routines.

The final conclusions will be that average behaviors or signature emission features will be associated with high redshift galaxies to be able to better distinguish prospective targets as high redshift galaxies for further studies.