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  1. ABSTRACT

    The Merian survey is mapping ∼ 850 deg2 of the Hyper Suprime-Cam Strategic Survey Program (HSC-SSP) wide layer with two medium-band filters on the 4-m Victor M. Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, with the goal of carrying the first high signal-to-noise (S/N) measurements of weak gravitational lensing around dwarf galaxies. This paper presents the design of the Merian filter set: N708 (λc = 7080 Å, Δλ = 275 Å) and N540 (λc = 5400 Å, Δλ = 210 Å). The central wavelengths and filter widths of N708 and N540 were designed to detect the $\rm H\alpha$ and $\rm [OIII]$ emission lines of galaxies in the mass range $8\lt \rm \log M_*/M_\odot \lt 9$ by comparing Merian fluxes with HSC broad-band fluxes. Our filter design takes into account the weak lensing S/N and photometric redshift performance. Our simulations predict that Merian will yield a sample of ∼ 85 000 star-forming dwarf galaxies with a photometric redshift accuracy of σΔz/(1 + z) ∼ 0.01 and an outlier fraction of $\eta =2.8~{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ over the redshift range 0.058 < z < 0.10. With 60 full nights on the Blanco/Dark Energy Camera (DECam), the Merian survey is predicted to measure the average weak lensing profile around dwarf galaxies with lensing S/N ∼32 within r < 0.5 Mpc and lensing S/N ∼90 within r < 1.0 Mpc. This unprecedented sample of star-forming dwarf galaxies will allow for studies of the interplay between dark matter and stellar feedback and their roles in the evolution of dwarf galaxies.

     
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  2. ABSTRACT

    The Vera C. Rubin Observatory Wide-Fast Deep sky survey will reach unprecedented surface brightness depths over tens of thousands of square degrees. Surface brightness photometry has traditionally been a challenge. Current algorithms which combine object detection with sky estimation systematically oversubtract the sky, biasing surface brightness measurements at the faint end and destroying or severely compromising low surface brightness light. While it has recently been shown that properly accounting for undetected faint galaxies and the wings of brighter objects can in principle recover a more accurate sky estimate, this has not yet been demonstrated in practice. Obtaining a consistent spatially smooth underlying sky estimate is particularly challenging in the presence of representative distributions of bright and faint objects. In this paper, we use simulations of crowded and uncrowded fields designed to mimic Hyper Suprime-Cam data to perform a series of tests on the accuracy of the recovered sky. Dependence on field density, galaxy type, and limiting flux for detection are all considered. Several photometry packages are utilized: source extractor, gnuastro, and the LSST science pipelines. Each is configured in various modes, and their performance at extreme low surface brightness analysed. We find that the combination of the source extractor software package with novel source model masking techniques consistently produce extremely faint output sky estimates, by up to an order of magnitude, as well as returning high fidelity output science catalogues.

     
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  3. ABSTRACT We present Galaxy Zoo DECaLS: detailed visual morphological classifications for Dark Energy Camera Legacy Survey images of galaxies within the SDSS DR8 footprint. Deeper DECaLS images (r = 23.6 versus r = 22.2 from SDSS) reveal spiral arms, weak bars, and tidal features not previously visible in SDSS imaging. To best exploit the greater depth of DECaLS images, volunteers select from a new set of answers designed to improve our sensitivity to mergers and bars. Galaxy Zoo volunteers provide 7.5 million individual classifications over 314 000 galaxies. 140 000 galaxies receive at least 30 classifications, sufficient to accurately measure detailed morphology like bars, and the remainder receive approximately 5. All classifications are used to train an ensemble of Bayesian convolutional neural networks (a state-of-the-art deep learning method) to predict posteriors for the detailed morphology of all 314 000 galaxies. We use active learning to focus our volunteer effort on the galaxies which, if labelled, would be most informative for training our ensemble. When measured against confident volunteer classifications, the trained networks are approximately 99 per cent accurate on every question. Morphology is a fundamental feature of every galaxy; our human and machine classifications are an accurate and detailed resource for understanding how galaxies evolve. 
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