Colour matters: the effects of lensing on the positional offsets between optical and submillimetre galaxies in Herschel-ATLAS

Bourne, N. and Maddox, S.J. and Dunne, L. and Dye, S. and Eales, S. and Hoyos, C. and Gonzalez-Nuevo, J. and Smith, D.J.B. and Valiante, E. and de Zotti, G. and Ivison, R.J. and Rowlands, K. (2014) Colour matters: the effects of lensing on the positional offsets between optical and submillimetre galaxies in Herschel-ATLAS. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 444 (2). pp. 1884-1892. ISSN 1365-2966

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Abstract

We report an unexpected variation in the positional offset distributions between Herschel-Astrophysical Terahertz Large Area Survey (H-ATLAS) submillimetre (submm) sources and their optical associations, depending on both 250-μm signal-to-noise ratio and 250/350-μm colour. We show that redder and brighter submm sources have optical associations with a broader distribution of positional offsets than would be expected if these offsets were due to random positional errors in the source extraction. The observation can be explained by two possible effects: either red submm sources trace a more clustered population than blue ones, and their positional errors are increased by confusion, or red submm sources are generally at high redshifts and are frequently associated with low-redshift lensing structures which are identified as false counterparts. We perform various analyses of the data, including the multiplicity of optical associations, the redshift and magnitude distributions in H-ATLAS in comparison to HerMES, and simulations of weak lensing, and we conclude that the effects are most likely to be explained by widespread weak lensing of Herschel-SPIRE sources by foreground structures. This has important consequences for counterpart identification and derived redshift distributions and luminosity functions of submm surveys.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2014 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Keywords: gravitational lensing: weak, galaxies: statistics, submillimetre: galaxies
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Physics and Astronomy
Identification Number: 10.1093/mnras/stu1582
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 13:07
Last Modified: 28 Apr 2017 12:39
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/42377

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