The Spitzer Warm Mission: Prospects for Studies of the Distant Universe
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IRAC excels at detecting distant objects. Due to a combination of the shapes of the spectral energy distributions of galaxies and the low background achieved from space, IRAC reaches greater depth in comparable exposure time at 3.6 and 4.5 μm than any ground- or space-based facility currently can at 2.2 μm. Furthermore, the longer wavelengths probed by IRAC enable studies of the rest-frame optical and near-infrared light of galaxies and AGN to much higher redshift than is possible from the ground. This white paper explores the merits of different survey strategies for studying the distant universe during the warm mission. A three-tiered approach serves a wide range of science goals and uses the spacecraft effectively: 1) an ultra-deep survey of ≈0.04 square degrees to a depth of 250 hrs (in conjunction with an HST/WFC3 program), to study the Universe at 76 and characterize the relation between the build-up of dark matter halos and their constituent galaxies at 2
author list (cited authors)
van Dokkum, P., Cooray, A., Labbé, I., Papovich, C., & Stern, D.