More than 1000 Redshifts for Galaxies at \(0.3<z<2.5\) in the WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels (WISP) Survey


The redshifts and emission-line strengths for XXXX Galaxies in 29 fields of the WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels (WISP) Survey are presented.


The redshift regime \(1<z<2.5\) encompasses the peak in the star formation history of the universe (e.g. Madau et al., 2014, and references therein). By \(z\sim1\), all of the strong rest-frame-optical emission lines for star-forming galaxies (SFG) and active galactic nuclei (AGN) are redshifted into the near-infrared (NIR), which has been been very difficult to obtain from the ground. Large rest-frame-optical spectroscopic samples of galaxies in this redshift range are impeded due to the strong NIR atmospheric absorption and emission, the poor sensitivity of NIR spectrographs,and the paucity of NIR multi-object spectrographs. With the new age of multi-object NIR spectrographs on 8–10m-class telescopes, larger spectroscopic samples are beginning to be assembled, although they are limited to redshift ranges where the strong rest-frame-optical lines fall in relatively transparent atmospheric windows.

A complementary approach to building up rest-frame-optical spectroscopic samples of galaxies at \(z>1\) is to use a spectrograph that is above the Earth’s atmosphere. This was successfully carried out in the past with the grisms on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS, Thompson et al., 1998) (e.g. McCarthy et al., 1999) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS, Ford et al., 1998) (e.g. Straughn et al., 2009; Pirzkal et al., 2013). The installation of Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in 2009 included two infrared grisms, each of which disperse the full \(2^{\prime}\times2^{\prime}\) WFC3 field of view into low-resolution spectra. The G102 grism has \(R\sim210\) and covers a wavelength range of \(0.8-1.15{\mu\rm{m}}\) and the G141 grism has \(R\sim160\) and covers wavelength range of \(1.1-1.7{\mu\rm{m}}\). Together, the two grisms allow for continuous coverage from \(0.8-1.7{\mu\rm{m}}\). The combination of the larger area and higher sensitivity of the WFC3/IR detector compared to NICMOS leads to a factor of XX better survey capability.

The WFC3 Infrared Spectroscopic Parallels (WISP) Survey (PI Malkan) has used the two WFC3/IR grisms to obtain spectra of thousands of galaxies in XXX high-galactic-latitude fields to date. The WISP Emission-Line Galaxy Catalog is presented here for the first 29 fields in the WISP Deep Survey. The catalog contains redshift and line measurements for XXXX galaxies at \(0.3<z<2.5\). The WISP Survey and data products are summarized in Section \ref{sec:wispdp}. The WISP line-extraction method is presented in Section \ref{sec:wisppipe}. The WISP Emission-Line Galaxy Catalog is presented in Section \ref{sec:elgs}. Conclusions are presented in Section \ref{sec:conclusions}. Magnitudes are reported in the AB system (Oke, 1974), unless otherwise specified. A flat \(\Lambda\)CDM cosmology with \(H_0=70\) km/s/Mpc and \(\Omega_M=0.3\) is assumed throughout, unless otherwise specified.