EDP Sciences
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Volume 406, Number 2, August I 2003
Page(s) 593 - 601
Section Galactic structure and dynamics
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20030812

A&A 406, 593-601 (2003)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20030812

Galaxies in southern bright star fields

I. Near-infrared imaging
Andrew J. Baker1, Richard I. Davies1, M. D. Lehnert1, N. A. Thatte1, 2, W. D. Vacca1, O. R. Hainaut3, M. J. Jarvis2, 4, G. K. Miley4 and H. J. A. Röttgering4

1  Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik, Postfach 1312, 85741 Garching, Germany
    e-mail: [ajb,davies,mlehnert,thatte,vacca]@mpe.mpg.de
2  University of Oxford Astrophysics, Keble Road, Oxford OX1 3RH, UK
    e-mail: mjj@astro.ox.ac.uk
3  European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Casilla 19001, Vitacura, Santiago, Chile
    e-mail: ohainaut@eso.org
4  Sterrewacht Leiden, Postbus 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
    e-mail: [miley,rottgeri]@strw.leidenuniv.nl

(Received 7 March 2003 / Accepted 27 May 2003 )

As a prerequisite for cosmological studies using adaptive optics techniques, we have begun to identify and characterize faint sources in the vicinity of bright stars at high Galactic latitudes. The initial phase of this work has been a program of  Ks imaging conducted with SOFI at the ESO NTT. From observations of 42 southern fields evenly divided between the spring and autumn skies, we have identified 391 additional stars and 1589 galaxies lying at separations $\Delta \theta \leq 60\arcsec$ from candidate guide stars in the magnitude range $9.0 \leq R \leq 12.4$. When analyzed as a "discrete deep field" with $131\,\mathrm{arcmin}^2$ area, our dataset gives galaxy number counts that agree with those derived previously over the range $16 \leq K_\mathrm{s} < 20.5$. This consistency indicates that in the aggregate, our fields should be suitable for future statistical studies. We provide our source catalogue as a resource for users of large telescopes in the southern hemisphere.

Key words: instrumentation: adaptive optics -- galaxies: photometry -- infrared: galaxies -- infrared: stars

Offprint request: A. J. Baker, ajb@mpe.mpg.de

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© ESO 2003