Landessternwarte Heidelberg, Königstuhl, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
2 Universitätssternwarte München, Scheinerstr. 1, 81679 München, Germany
3 Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen, Geismarlandstr. 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany
4 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
5 European Southern Observatory Santiago, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Santiago 19, Chile
6 Akademie der Wissenschaften, Theaterstr. 7, 37079 Göttingen, Germany
7 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Str. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
8 Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Blackford Hill, Edinburgh EH9 3HJ, UK
Corresponding author: J. Heidt, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 15 October 2002
The FORS Deep Field project is a multi-colour, multi-object spectroscopic investigation of a ∼ region near the south galactic pole based mostly on observations carried out with the FORS instruments attached to the VLT telescopes. It includes the QSO Q 0103-260 (). The goal of this study is to improve our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies in the young Universe. In this paper the field selection, the photometric observations, and the data reduction are described. The source detection and photometry of objects in the FORS Deep Field is discussed in detail. A combined B and I selected UBgRIJKs photometric catalog of 8753 objects in the FDF is presented and its properties are briefly discussed. The formal 50% completeness limits for point sources, derived from the co-added images, are 25.64, 27.69, 26.86, 26.68, 26.37, 23.60 and 21.57 in U, B, g, R, I, J and Ks (Vega-system), respectively. A comparison of the number counts in the FORS Deep Field to those derived in other deep field surveys shows very good agreement.
Key words: methods: data analysis / catalogs / galaxies: general / galaxies: fundamental parameters / galaxies: photometry
Based on observations collected with the VLT-UT1 on Cerro Paranal (Chile) and the NTT on La Silla (Chile) operated by the European Southern Observatory in the course of the observing proposals 63.O-0005, 64.O-0149, 64.O-0158, 64.O-0229, 64.P-0150 and 65.O-0048.
© ESO, 2003