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Best Practices for Selecting Galaxies at 6 < z < 15 in Upcoming JWST Deep Fields

Presentation #207.07 in the session Evolution of Galaxies III.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Best Practices for Selecting Galaxies at 6 < z < 15 in Upcoming JWST Deep Fields

Typically the selection of high redshift galaxies involves spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting to photometric data, an expectation for contamination levels, and measurement on sample completeness — all vetted through comparison to spectroscopic redshift measurements of a sub-sample. Forthcoming JWST data will be taken over a variety of fields, to different depths and across various areas, building up a new era of deep fields. These will be ideal for the discovery and classification of galaxies out to distances previously uncharted, potentially as far as z ~ 15. As spectroscopic redshift measurements for sources in this epoch will not be readily available to compare with our first photometric measurements of z > 8 galaxies, we need to establish optimal processes now to maximize completeness and minimize contamination rates in our survey data. In preparation for the first wave of observations with JWST, we have produced mock catalogs of photometry based upon the semi-analytic models from Yung et al. (2019), which mimic expected field depths and areas of 4 upcoming JWST deep surveys: NGDEEP (m~30.6, 6 arcmin2), PRIMER DEEP (m~29.5, 33 arcmin2), CEERS (m~28.6, 100 arcmin2), and COSMOS-Web (m~27.7, 0.6deg2). We have tested a variety of galaxy SED templates and found an appropriate set that matches the colors (β-slope) of our simulated galaxies and performed SED fitting of our simulated sources using the EAZY code (Brammer et al., 2006). Here we show preliminary results highlighting the best practices for selecting galaxies at 6 < z < 15 with JWST, providing an important road map for observers venturing into this new era of astronomy.

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