The Cosmological Evolution Survey (COSMOS) is an astronomical survey designed to probe the formation and evolution of galaxies as a function of both cosmic time (redshift) and the local galaxy environment. The survey covers a 2 square degree equatorial field with imaging by most of the major space-based telescopes and a number of large ground based telescopes, with many ongoing surveys. Over 2 million galaxies are detected, spanning 75% of the age of the Universe. The COSMOS survey involves more than 100 scientists in a dozen countries.
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zCOSMOS (PI Simon Lilly, ESO Large Programme 175.A-0839) is a large redshift survey undertaken in the COSMOS field using the VIMOS spectrograph. About 600 hours were awarded to this Large Programme, which was executed between 2005 and 2010. This new release completes the zCOSMOS-bright survey and includes 20689 wavelength calibrated 1-d spectra and associated 5×5 arcsecond image cut-outs for each target. See the rest of the ESO press release and access the data here.
Members of the COSMOS team were recently awarded Keck time (10 nights through NASA and 4 nights through Caltech) to begin a program designed to systematically measure the galaxy color-redshift relation, in preparation for the upcoming dark energy missions WFIRST and Euclid. The goal of this survey is to obtain a color-complete sample of high confidence redshifts, as described in Masters et al. 2015. Using a nonlinear dimensionality reduction (NLDR) technique known as the self-organizing map, Masters et al. were able to quantify the high-dimensional distribution of galaxy SEDs in COSMOS, enabling them to quantify where (in galaxy color space) high-confidence spectroscopy in the field currently exists, as well as where it is systematically missing. The under-sampled color regions are the primary focus of the survey, corresponding mostly to faint, star-forming galaxies at 0.2 < z < 2. A wealth of ancillary science will be possible with the resulting spectra, which will (by definition) probe populations of galaxies not studied previously. LRIS, DEIMOS, and MOSFIRE will be used for this program, which is anticipated to continue over the next several years.
The James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, now owned and operated by the East Asian Core Observatories Association (EACOA) has recently announced its large legacy programs it will embark on between the end of 2015 to January of 2019, dedicating half of the observatory's time and resources through several collaborative large projects. Two of these projects focus on observations of the COSMOS field.
The first is the S2-COSMOS survey, a 223 hour program seeking to complete deep 850um mapping of the entire 2 square degree field. This will enable the direct detection of ~1000 submillimeter galaxies down to a flux limit of ~4.5mJy (4 sigma). The S2-COSMOS survey is being coordinated by Ran Wang, Scott Chapman, Yuichi Matsuda, Yujin Yang, Ian Smail, and Wei-Hao Wang.
The second survey focused on COSMOS is the STUDIES survey, or the SCUBA-2 Ultra Deep Imaging EAO Survey. This is a 330 hour deep pointing focusing on the high angular resolution capability of 450um imaging in superb weather. The goal of STUDIES is to detect typical galaxies in their dust emission in the early Universe and understand the full origins of the far-IR extragalactic background light. STUDIES will achieve a 0.57mJy RMS map at 450um (confusion-limited) in the CANDELS-imaged portion of COSMOS, already covered by HST with a substantial amount of multiwavelength data and spectroscopy. This will be the deepest submillimeter map ever taken at 450um. This project is being coordinated by Scott Chapman, Xianzhong Zheng, Hyunjin Shim, Tadayuki Kodama, Ian Smail and Wei-Hao Wang (PI).
COSMOS team members who are an EAO member partner or in an EAO region (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, or select universities in the UK or Canada) are encouraged to participate in the JCMT legacy programs. This is great news for COSMOS, and will certainly establish the field as the leading submillimeter extragalactic survey field for years to come.
The COSMOS Artist-in-Residence, Karel Nel, has recently exhibited his new works in London. The exhibition, named 'Observe', was partly inspired by results presented at the June 2015 COSMOS Team Meeting in Helsinki. The brochure can be found here and more information on Karel's involvement in COSMOS here.