Mock galaxy redshift catalogues from simulations: implications for Pan-STARRS1

Astronomy and Astrophysics – Astrophysics

Scientific paper

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23 pages, 18 figures, accepted by MNRAS

Scientific paper

10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.14402.x

We describe a method for constructing mock galaxy catalogues which are well suited for use in conjunction with large photometric surveys. We use the semi-analytic galaxy formation model of Bower et al. implemented in the Millennium simulation. We apply our method to the specific case of the surveys soon to commence with PS1, the first of 4 telescopes planned for the Pan-STARRS system. PS1 has 5 photometric bands (grizy), and will carry out an all-sky 3pi survey and a medium deep survey (MDS) over 84 sq.deg. We calculate the expected magnitude limits for extended sources in the two surveys. We find that, after 3 years, the 3pi survey will have detected over 10^8 galaxies in all 5 bands, 10 million of which will lie at redshift z>0.9, while the MDS will have detected over 10^7 galaxies with 0.5 million lying at z>2. These numbers at least double if detection in the shallowest band, y is not required. We then evaluate the accuracy of photometric redshifts estimated using an off-the-shelf photo-z code. With the grizy bands alone it is possible to achieve an accuracy in the 3pi survey of Delta z/(1+z)~0.06 for 0.25

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