Photometric redshifts and morphologies of galaxies in the NICMOS parallel fields

Michael R. Corbin, William D. Vacca, Earl O'Neil, Rodger I. Thompson, Marcia J. Rieke, Glenn Schneider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We present positions, magnitudes, sizes, and morphological classifications for 111 galaxies discovered in the Hubble Space Telescope NICMOS camera 1 and camera 2 parallel fields. We combine the magnitudes measured in the JHK-analog filters with those from deep ground-based images in V and/or R to measure photometric redshifts for 71 objects using Bruzual & Charlot population synthesis models. We find that these objects fall in the range z ∼ 0.0-2.7, with 〈Z〉 ≅ 0.8 and a mean luminosity 〈L〉 ≅ 1.6L*. The NICMOS images reveal many of the galaxies to be ordered spirals and ellipticals similar to those in the local universe, with a high degree of symmetry and brightness profiles that are well fitted by de Vaucouleurs's r1/4 and exponential disk laws. However, we find a higher fraction (∼14%) of morphologically peculiar and/or interacting galaxies in the sample than is observed among local galaxies (∼3%-4%). This is consistent with the result from other deep HST images including the Hubble Deep Field and Hubble Medium Deep Survey field that the fraction of peculiar and interacting galaxies increases with redshift. As the NICMOS images of the sample galaxies cover their rest-frame near-infrared and optical emission, this result increases confidence that such changes in morphology are genuine, as opposed to an effect produced by viewing galaxies in the rest-frame ultraviolet. We also find that at least 26 of the sample galaxies appear to be members of (noninteracting) pairs or groups, based on their promixity to one another and photometric redshifts. This is consistent with the results of recent ground-based optical surveys for faint galaxies covering larger areas and with the detection of galaxy groups and filaments at redshifts higher than those covered by the present sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1062-1077
Number of pages16
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: photometry
  • Infrared: radiation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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