With a primary goal of conducting precision weak-lensing measurements from space, the COSMOS survey has imaged the largest contiguous area observed by Hubble Space Telescope to date, using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). This is the first paper in a series in which we describe our strategy for addressing the various technical challenges in the production of weak-lensing measurements from COSMOS data. We first construct a source catalog from 575 ACS/WFC tiles (1.64 deg2) subsampled at a pixel scale of 0.03". Defects and diffraction spikes are carefully removed, leaving a total of 1.2×106 objects to a limiting magnitude of F814W=26.5. This catalog is made publicly available. Multiwavelength follow-up observations of the COSMOS field provide photometric redshifts for 73% of the source galaxies in the lensing catalog. We analyze and discuss the COSMOS redshift distribution and show broad agreement with other surveys to z~1. Our next step is to measure the shapes of galaxies and correct them for the distortion induced by the time-varying ACS point-spread function and for charge transfer efficiency (CTE) effects. Simulated images are used to derive the shear susceptibility factors that are necessary in transforming shape measurements into unbiased shear estimators. For every galaxy we derive a shape measurement error and utilize this quantity to extract the intrinsic shape noise of the galaxy sample. Interestingly, our results indicate that intrinsic shape noise varies little with size, magnitude, or redshift. Representing a number density of 66 galaxies per arcmin2, the final COSMOS weak-lensing catalog contains 3.9×105 galaxies with accurate shape measurements. The properties of the COSMOS weak-lensing catalog described throughout this paper will provide key input numbers for the preparation and design of next-generation wide field space missions.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
- Pub Date:
- September 2007
- Cosmology: Observations;
- Cosmology: Gravitational Lensing;
- Cosmology: Large-Scale Structure of Universe;
- Accepted by ApJ, 28 pages, 18 figures