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The MUSE Hubble Ultra Deep Field Survey
III. Testing photometric redshifts to 30th magnitude

J. Brinchmann, H. Inami, R. Bacon, T. Contini, M. V. Maseda, J. Chevallard, N. Bouché, L. A. Boogaard, C. M. Carollo, S. Chariot, W. Kollatschny, R. A. Marino, R. Pellò, J. Richard, J. Schaye, A. Verhamme, L. Wisotzki

We tested the performance of photometric redshifts for galaxies in the Hubble Ultra Deep field down to 30th magnitude. We compared photometric redshift estimates from three spectral fitting codes from the literature (EAZY, BPZ and BEAGLE) to high quality redshifts for 1227 galaxies from the MUSE integral field spectrograph. All these codes can return photometric redshifts with bias |(zMUSE−pz) / (1 + zMUSE)| < 0.05 down to F775W = 30 and spectroscopic incompleteness is unlikely to strongly modify this statement. We have, however, identified clear systematic biases in the determination of photometric redshifts: in the 0.4 < z < 1.5range, photometric redshifts are systematically biased low by as much as (zMUSE−pz) / (1 + zMUSE) = −0.04 in the median, and at z> 3 they are systematically biased high by up to (zMUSE−pz) / (1 + zMUSE) = 0.05, an offset that can in part be explained by adjusting the amount of intergalactic absorption applied. In agreement with previous studies we find little difference in the performance of the different codes, but in contrast to those we find that adding extensive ground-based and IRAC photometry actually can worsen photo-z performance for faint galaxies. We find an outlier fraction, defined through |(zMUSE−pz) / (1 + zMUSE)| > 0.15, of 8% for BPZ and 10% for EAZY and BEAGLE, and show explicitly that this is a strong function of magnitude. While this outlier fraction is high relative to numbers presented in the literature for brighter galaxies, they are very comparable to literature results when the depth of the data is taken into account. Finally, we demonstrate that while a redshift might be of high confidence, the association of a spectrum to the photometric object can be very uncertain and lead to a contamination of a few percent in spectroscopic training samples that do not show up as catastrophic outliers, a problem that must be tackled in order to have sufficiently accurate photometric redshifts for future cosmological surveys.

galaxies: evolution; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: distances and redshifts; cosmology: observations; techniques: imaging spectroscopy; Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies; Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics

Astronomy & Astrophysics
Volume 608, Article Number A3, Number of pages 23
2017 December

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Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia da Universidade de Coimbra
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia COMPETE 2020 PORTUGAL 2020 União Europeia