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  1. Context. We present our sixth work in a series dedicated to variability studies of active galactic nuclei (AGN), based on the survey of the COSMOS field by the VLT Survey Telescope (VST). Its 54 r -band visits over 3.3 yr and single-visit depth of 24.6 r -band mag make this dataset a valuable scaled-down version that can help forecast the performance of the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). Aims. This work is centered on the analysis of the structure function (SF) of VST-COSMOS AGN, investigating possible differences in its shape and slope related to how the AGN were selected, and explores possible connections between the AGN ensemble variability and the black-hole mass, accretion rate, bolometric luminosity, redshift, and obscuration of the source. Given its features, our dataset opens up the exploration of samples ∼2 mag fainter than most literature to date. Methods. We identified several samples of AGN – 677 in total – obtained through a variety of selection techniques partly overlapping. Our analysis compares the results for the various samples. We split each sample in two based on the median of the physical property of interest, and analyzed the differences in the SF shape and slope, and their possible causes. Results. While the SF shape does not change with depth, it is highly affected by the type of AGN (unobscured or obscured) included in the sample. Where a linear region can be identified, we find that the variability amplitude is anticorrelated to the accretion rate and bolometric luminosity, consistent with previous literature on the topic, while no dependence on black-hole mass emerges from this study. With its longer baseline and denser and more regular sampling, the LSST will allow for an improved characterization of the SF and its dependencies on the mentioned physical properties over much larger AGN samples. 
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  2. Galaxy evolution is regulated by the continuous cycle of gas accretion, consumption and feedback. Crucial in this cycle is the availability of neutral atomic (HI) and molecular hydrogen. Our current inventory of HI, however, is very limited beyond the local Universe (z > 0.25), resulting in an incomplete picture. ORCHIDSS is designed to address this critical challenge, using the powerful combination of 4MOST spectroscopy and sensitive radio observations from the MeerKAT deep extragalactic surveys to trace the evolution of neutral gas and its lifecycle within galaxies across the bulk of cosmic history. 
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  3. ABSTRACT We measure the 850-μm source densities of 46 candidate protoclusters selected from the Planck high-z catalogue (PHz) and the Planck Catalogue of Compact Sources (PCCS) that were followed up with Herschel-SPIRE and SCUBA-2. This paper aims to search for overdensities of 850-μm sources in order to select the fields that are most likely to be genuine protoclusters. Of the 46 candidate protoclusters, 25 have significant overdensities (>5 times the field counts), 11 have intermediate overdensities (3–5 times the field counts), and 10 have no overdensity (<3 times the field counts) of 850-μm sources. We find that the enhanced number densities are unlikely to be the result of sample variance. Compared with the number counts of another sample selected from Planck’s compact source catalogues, this [PHz + PCCS]-selected sample has a higher fraction of candidate protoclusters with significant overdensities, though both samples show overdensities of 850-μm sources above intermediate level. Based on the estimated star formation rate densities (SFRDs), we suggest that both samples can efficiently select protoclusters with starbursting galaxies near the redshift at which the global field SFRD peaks (2 < z < 3). Based on the confirmation of overdensities found here, future follow-up observations on other PHz targets may greatly increase the number of genuine dusty star-forming galaxy-rich clusters/protoclusters. 
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  4. Abstract The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) has become a cornerstone of extragalactic astronomy. Since the last public catalog in 2015, a wealth of new imaging and spectroscopic data have been collected in the COSMOS field. This paper describes the collection, processing, and analysis of these new imaging data to produce a new reference photometric redshift catalog. Source detection and multiwavelength photometry are performed for 1.7 million sources across the 2 deg 2 of the COSMOS field, ∼966,000 of which are measured with all available broadband data using both traditional aperture photometric methods and a new profile-fitting photometric extraction tool, The Farmer , which we have developed. A detailed comparison of the two resulting photometric catalogs is presented. Photometric redshifts are computed for all sources in each catalog utilizing two independent photometric redshift codes. Finally, a comparison is made between the performance of the photometric methodologies and of the redshift codes to demonstrate an exceptional degree of self-consistency in the resulting photometric redshifts. The i < 21 sources have subpercent photometric redshift accuracy and even the faintest sources at 25 < i < 27 reach a precision of 5%. Finally, these results are discussed in the context of previous, current, and future surveys in the COSMOS field. Compared to COSMOS2015, it reaches the same photometric redshift precision at almost one magnitude deeper. Both photometric catalogs and their photometric redshift solutions and physical parameters will be made available through the usual astronomical archive systems (ESO Phase 3, IPAC-IRSA, and CDS). 
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    We present SCUBA-2 850 $\mathrm{ \mu}$m observations of 13 candidate starbursting protoclusters selected using Planck and Herschel data. The cumulative number counts of the 850 $\mathrm{ \mu}$m sources in 9 of 13 of these candidate protoclusters show significant overdensities compared to the field, with the probability <10−2 assuming the sources are randomly distributed in the sky. Using the 250, 350, 500, and 850 $\mathrm{ \mu}$m flux densities, we estimate the photometric redshifts of individual SCUBA-2 sources by fitting spectral energy distribution templates with an MCMC method. The photometric redshift distribution, peaking at 2 < z < 3, is consistent with that of known z > 2 protoclusters and the peak of the cosmic star formation rate density (SFRD). We find that the 850 $\mathrm{ \mu}$m sources in our candidate protoclusters have infrared luminosities of $L_{\mathrm{IR}}\gtrsim 10^{12}\, \mathrm{L}_{\odot }$ and star formation rates of SFR  = (500–1500) M⊙ yr−1. By comparing with results in the literature considering only Herschel photometry, we conclude that our 13 candidate protoclusters can be categorized into four groups: six of them being high-redshift starbursting protoclusters, one being a lower redshift cluster or protocluster, three being protoclusters that contain lensed dusty star-forming galaxies or are rich in 850 $\mathrm{ \mu}$m sources, and three regions without significant Herschel or SCUBA-2 source overdensities. The total SFRs of the candidate protoclusters are found to be comparable or higher than those of known protoclusters, suggesting our sample contains some of the most extreme protocluster population. We infer that cross-matching Planck and Herschel data is a robust method for selecting candidate protoclusters with overdensities of 850 $\mathrm{ \mu}$m sources.

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