The COSMOS-WIRCam near-infrared imaging survey. I. BzK-selected passive and star-forming galaxy candidates at z≳ 1.4

H. J. McCracken, P. Capak, M. Salvato, H. Aussel, D. Thompson, E. Daddi, D. B. Sanders, J. P. Kneib, C. J. Willott, C. Mancini, A. Renzini, R. Cook, O. Le Fèvre, O. Ilbert, J. Kartaltepe, A. M. Koekemoer, Y. Mellier, T. Murayama, N. Z. Scoville, Y. ShioyaY. Tanaguchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

209 Citations (Scopus)


We present a new near-infrared survey covering the 2 deg2 COSMOS field conducted using WIRCam at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. By combining our near-infrared data with Subaru B and z images, we construct a deep, wide-field optical-infrared catalog. At K s < 23 (AB magnitudes), our survey completeness is greater than 90% and 70% for stars and galaxies, respectively, and contains 143,466 galaxies and 13,254 stars. Using the BzK diagram, we divide our galaxy catalog into quiescent and star-forming galaxy candidates. At z 2, our catalogs contain 3931 quiescent and 25,757 star-forming galaxies representing the largest and most secure sample at these depths and redshifts to date. Our counts of quiescent galaxies turns over at K s 22, an effect that we demonstrate cannot be due to sample incompleteness. Both the number of faint and bright quiescent objects in our catalogs exceed the predictions of a recent semi-analytic model of galaxy formation, indicating potentially the need for further refinements in the amount of merging and active galactic nucleus feedback at z 2 in these models. We measure the angular correlation function for each sample and find that the slope of the field galaxy correlation function flattens to 1.5 by K s 23. At small angular scales, the angular correlation function for passive BzK galaxies is considerably in excess of the clustering of dark matter. We use precise 30-band photometric redshifts to derive the spatial correlation length and the redshift distributions for each object class. At K s < 22, we find r γ/1.8 0 = 7.0 0.5h -1 Mpc for the passive BzK candidates and 4.7 0.8 h -1 Mpc for the star-forming BzK galaxies. Our pBzK galaxies have an average photometric redshift of z p 1.4, in approximate agreement with the limited spectroscopic information currently available. The stacked K s image will be made publicly available from IRSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-217
Number of pages16
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Dark matter
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Large-scale structure of universe
  • Surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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