The hubble deep field: Observations, data reduction, and galaxy photometry

Robert E. Williams, Brett Blacker, Mark Dickinson, W. Van Dyke Dixon, Henry C. Ferguson, Andrew S. Fruchter, Mauro Giavalisco, Ronald L. Gilliland, Inge Heyer, Rocio Katsanis, Zolt Levay, Ray A. Lucas, Douglas B. McElroy, Larry Petro, Marc Postman, Hans Martin Adorf, Richard N. Hook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

886 Scopus citations


The Hubble Deep Field (HDF) is a Director's Discretionary program on HST in Cycle 5 to image an undistinguished field at high Galactic latitude in four passbands as deeply as reasonably possible. These images provide the most detailed view to date of distant field galaxies and are likely to be important for a wide range of studies in galaxy evolution and cosmology. In order to optimize observing in the time available, a field in the northern continuous viewing zone was selected and images were taken for ten consecutive days, or approximately 150 orbits. Shorter 1-2 orbit images were obtained of the fields immediately adjacent to the primary HDF in order to facilitate spectroscopic follow-up by ground-based telescopes. The observations were made from 1995 December 18-30, and both raw and reduced data have been put in the public domain as a community service. We present a summary of the criteria for selecting the field, the rationale behind the filter selection and observing times in each band, and the strategies foi planning the observations to maximize the exposure time while avoiding Earth-scattered light. Data reduction procedures are outlined, and images of the combined frames in each band are presented. Objects detected in these images are listed in a catalog with their basic photometric parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1335-1389
Number of pages55
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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