The feasibility of a galaxy infrared slitless prism survey

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We examine the issues surrounding an IR slitless prism survey for galaxies with highly redshifted Hα to see if some of the next generation of IR instruments should have the capability to conduct such surveys. We model the galaxy and star surface density as a function of J, H, and K magnitudes to estimate field crowding with depth. Using data from the Subaru 8.2 m telescope and Infrared Camera and Spectrograph detector as a benchmark, we estimate the number of detectable galaxies as a function of telescope aperture size, object magnitude, and line strength. We find that while crowding need not be a major problem, it is still difficult for even a large telescope to obtain a useful emission-line galaxy sample in the J, H, or K bands primarily because of the high IR background and the faintness of the galaxies with Hα in these bands.

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Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific