Unlocking the Archive – Near Infrared Galaxy Photometry Across the Southern Sky

CI: – Dr. E. Taylor

The focus of this proposal is the production of a new catalog of optical and near-infrared (NIR) photometry across the full Southern hemisphere, based on a reanalysis of ~18000 sq. deg. of NIR imaging from the VISTA Science Archive combined with ~10000 sq. deg. of optical imaging from Pan-STARRS1. To this end, we are requesting 11 weeks of software development from ADACS (in coordination with ODC) to optimize and develop our prototype pipeline to be ready to implement at scale starting in 2022B. The primary motivation for this catalog is to define and describe the target sample for our 4MOST Hemisphere Survey, which aims to obtain optical spectra and spectroscopic redshifts for ~6.5M galaxies across the Southern half of the z < ~0.2 Universe, beginning c. 2024. Further, this catalog will immediately become a valuable new resource for a wide range of international and Australian-led science activities, including cosmology, large scale structure, and AGN science within 4MOST; local HI science with ASKAP-WALLABY; radio continuum science with ASKAP-EMU; optical and radio transient science, and even gravitational wave astronomy. Our ambition with this proposal is thus to produce a new piece of astronomical data infrastructure with broad and lasting scientific impact in the fields of extragalactic astronomy and cosmology, and lasting legacy value for the Australian astronomical community, for 4MOST and the wider ESO community, and beyond.