Physics and Astronomy Publications
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The COSMOS field has been extensively observed by most major telescopes, including Chandra, HST, and Subaru. HST imaging boasts very high spatial resolution and is used extensively in morphological studies of distant galaxies. Subaru provides lower spatial resolution imaging than HST but a substantially wider field of view with greater sensitivity. Both telescopes provide near-infrared imaging of COSMOS. Successful morphological fitting of Subaru data would allow us to measure morphologies of over 104 known active galactic nucleus (AGN) hosts, accessible through Subaru wide-field surveys, currently not covered by HST. The morphological parameters indicate the types of galaxies that host AGNs. For 4016 AGNs between 0.03 < z < 6.5, we study the morphology of their galaxy hosts using GALFIT, fitting components representing the AGN and host galaxy simultaneously using the i-band imaging from both HST and Subaru. Comparing the fits for the differing telescope spatial resolutions and image signal-to-noise ratios, we identify parameter regimes for which there is strong disagreement between distributions of fitted parameters for HST and Subaru. In particular, the Sérsic index values strongly disagree between the two sets of data, including sources at lower redshifts. In contrast, the measured magnitude and radius parameters show reasonable agreement. Additionally, large variations in the Sérsic index have little effect on the χ ν 2 of each fit, whereas variations in other parameters have a more significant effect. These results indicate that the Sérsic index distributions of high-redshift galaxies that host AGNs imaged at ground-based spatial resolution are not reliable indicators of galaxy type and should be interpreted with caution.
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