skip to main content

Title: A CRITICAL ASSESSMENT OF PHOTOMETRIC REDSHIFT METHODS: A CANDELS INVESTIGATION

We present results from the Cosmic Assembly Near-infrared Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey (CANDELS) photometric redshift methods investigation. In this investigation, the results from 11 participants, each using a different combination of photometric redshift code, template spectral energy distributions (SEDs), and priors, are used to examine the properties of photometric redshifts applied to deep fields with broadband multi-wavelength coverage. The photometry used includes U-band through mid-infrared filters and was derived using the TFIT method. Comparing the results, we find that there is no particular code or set of template SEDs that results in significantly better photometric redshifts compared to others. However, we find that codes producing the lowest scatter and outlier fraction utilize a training sample to optimize photometric redshifts by adding zero-point offsets, template adjusting, or adding extra smoothing errors. These results therefore stress the importance of the training procedure. We find a strong dependence of the photometric redshift accuracy on the signal-to-noise ratio of the photometry. On the other hand, we find a weak dependence of the photometric redshift scatter with redshift and galaxy color. We find that most photometric redshift codes quote redshift errors (e.g., 68% confidence intervals) that are too small compared to that expected from themore » spectroscopic control sample. We find that all codes show a statistically significant bias in the photometric redshifts. However, the bias is in all cases smaller than the scatter; the latter therefore dominates the errors. Finally, we find that combining results from multiple codes significantly decreases the photometric redshift scatter and outlier fraction. We discuss different ways of combining data to produce accurate photometric redshifts and error estimates.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ;  [2] ; ; ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ; ;  [9] ; ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12] ;  [13] ;  [14] ;  [15] more »; « less
  1. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States)
  3. UCO/Lick Observatory, Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064 (United States)
  4. Department of Astronomy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)
  5. Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen (Denmark)
  6. INAF-Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Via Frascati 33, I-00040, Monteporzio (Italy)
  7. Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Observatorio Astronomico de Lisboa, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-018 Lisboa (Portugal)
  8. Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, 710 North Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States)
  9. NOAO, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)
  10. Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Giessenbachstrasse 1, D-85748 Garching bei München (Germany)
  11. Joint ALMA Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Vitacura, Santiago (Chile)
  12. Physics Department, CUNY NYC College of Technology, 300 Jay Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 (United States)
  13. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (United States)
  14. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  15. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22270836
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 775; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ASTRONOMY; ASTROPHYSICS; COLOR; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; ENERGY SPECTRA; GALAXIES; PHOTOMETRY; RED SHIFT; SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO