EDP Sciences
Free Access
Volume 372, Number 2, June III 2001
Page(s) 364 - 376
Section Cosmology
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20010449
Published online 15 June 2001

A&A 372, 364-376 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20010449

FIRBACK: III. Catalog, source counts, and cosmological implications of the 170 $\mu$m ISO deep survey

H. Dole1, 2, R. Gispert1, G. Lagache1, J.-L. Puget1, F. R. Bouchet3, C. Cesarsky4, P. Ciliegi5, D. L. Clements6, M. Dennefeld3, F.-X. Désert7, D. Elbaz8, 9, A. Franceschini10, B. Guiderdoni3, M. Harwit11, D. Lemke12, A. F. M. Moorwood4, S. Oliver13, 14, W. T. Reach15, M. Rowan-Robinson13 and M. Stickel12

1  Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, bâtiment 121, Université Paris Sud, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France
2  Present address: Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N Cherry Ave, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA
3  Institut d'Astrophysique de Paris, 98bis Bd. Arago, 75014 Paris, France
4  ESO, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
5  Osservatorio Astronomico di Bologna, Via Ranzani 1, 40127 Bologna, Italy
6  Department of Physics & Astronomy, Cardiff University, PO Box 813, Cardiff CF22 3YB, UK
7  Laboratoire d'Astrophysique, Obs. de Grenoble, BP 53, 414 Av. de la piscine, 38031 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
8  Service d'Astrophysique, DAPNIA, DSM, CEA Saclay, 91191, Gif-sur-Yvette, France
9  Physics and Astronomy Departments, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95064, USA
10  Astronomy Departement, Padova University, Vicolo Osservatorio, 5, 35122 Padova, Italy
11  511 H. Street S. W., Washington DC 20024-2725, USA; also Cornell University
12  Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
13  Astrophysics Group, Imperial College, Blackett Laboratory, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BZ, UK
14  Astronomy Centre, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QJ, UK
15  IPAC, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA

(Received 23 January 2001 / Accepted 5 March 2001)

The FIRBACK (Far Infrared BACKground) survey is one of the deepest imaging surveys carried out at 170 $\mu$m with ISOPHOT onboard ISO, and is aimed at the study of the structure of the Cosmic Far Infrared Background. This paper provides the analysis of resolved sources. After a validated process of data reduction and calibration, we perform intensive simulations to optimize the source extraction, measure the confusion noise ( $\sigma_{\rm c} = 45$ mJy), and give the photometric and astrometric accuracies. 196 galaxies with flux $S > 3 \sigma_{\rm c}$ are detected in the area of 3.89 square degrees. Counts of sources with flux $S > 4 \sigma_{\rm c}$ present a steep slope of $3.3 \pm 0.6$ on a differential "log N-log S"plot between 180 and 500 mJy. As a consequence, the confusion level is high and will impact dramatically on future IR deep surveys. This strong evolution, compared with a slope of 2.5 from Euclidian geometry, is in line with models implying a strongly evolving Luminous Infrared Galaxy population. The resolved sources account for less than 10% of the Cosmic Infrared Background at 170 $\mu$m, which is expected to be resolved into sources in the 1 to 10 mJy range.

Key words: cosmology: miscellaneous -- galaxies: infrared -- galaxies: evolution -- galaxies: statistics

Offprint request: H. Dole, hdole@as.arizona.edu

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