EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 368, Number 1, March II 2001
Page(s) 74 - 85
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20000553

A&A 368, 74-85 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20000553

A critical appraisal of the SED fitting method to estimate photometric redshifts

M. Massarotti1, 2, A. Iovino1 and A. Buzzoni1, 3

1  Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera, Via Brera 28, 20121 Milano, Italy
2  Università di Napoli, Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche, Mostra d'Oltremare, 80125 Napoli, Italy
3  Telescopio Nazionale Galileo, Roque de los Muchachos Astronomical Obs., PO Box 565, 38700 Santa Cruz de La Palma (TF), Spain

(Received 20 September 2000 / Accepted 12 December 2000)

We discuss the stability of the photometric redshift estimate obtained with the SED fitting method with respect to the choice of the galaxy templates. Within the observational uncertainty and photometric errors, we find satisfactory agreement among different sets of theoretical and empirical templates using the Hubble Deep Field North as a target galaxy sample. Our results suggest that, especially at high redshift, the description of the physical processes of photon absorption in the interstellar and intergalactic medium plays a dominant role in the redshift estimate. The specific choice of the template set, as long as this includes both normal and starburst galaxies, is in comparison a minor issue.

Key words: galaxies: distances and redshifts -- galaxies: evolution -- intergalactic medium -- dust, extinction -- methods: data analysis -- techniques: photometric

Offprint request: M. Massarotti, massarot@brera.mi.astro.it; iovino@brera.mi.astro.it; buzzoni@tng.iac.es

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