The Spitzer Extended Deep Survey (SEDS) is an Exploration Science Program, one of the large-scale science programs that were selected to be executed during the Spitzer Space Telescope's Warm Mission. The total time awarded was 2108h.
SEDS will provide a unique opportunity to obtain the first complete census of the assembly of stellar mass and black holes as a function of cosmic time back to the era of reionization, yielding unique information on galaxy formation in the early Universe. The survey will also measure galaxy clustering over a wide redshift range, which will provide the critical link between galaxies and their dark matter halos and critical tests of models of early star formation.
SEDS will achieve these goals by tracing the stellar mass growth in mass-selected samples of galaxies via their broadband spectral energy distributions. The baseline proposal is an unbiased survey with 12 hours/pointing at 3.6 and 4.5 microns over five well-studied fields of 0.90 square degree total. We expect to find (a) >10,000 galaxies at z = 4-6 (including ~1000 galaxies at z = 6), reaching galaxies down to ~5 x 10^9 Msun at z = 6, necessary to robustly measure M* at that redshift, i.e., the galaxies that dominate the global stellar mass density, and (b) >100 massive galaxies at z = 7, which will firmly anchor the high mass end of the early galaxy populations and provide targets bright enough for future spectroscopic follow-up with 20 or 30 meter telescopes, JWST, and ALMA.
The proposed five-field deep survey will enable several secondary science objectives. These include: (1) galaxy evolution in the redshift range z ~ 1-4, (2) AGN variability, and (3) measurement of the cosmic infrared background spatial fluctuations. SEDS is the most efficient and most highly optimized program that we can imagine to achieve core scientific goals of the warm mission. The opportunity to probe the Universe so widely and at such a depth at mid-IR wavelengths will not come again in the foreseeable future. SEDS is a unique program that will leave an important legacy for years to come.
Please contact our PI, Dr. Giovanni Fazio for more information.