LOFAR observations of the XMM-LSS field

C. L. Hale, W. Williams, M. J. Jarvis, M. J. Hardcastle, Leah K. Morabito, T. W. Shimwell, C. Tasse, P. N. Best, J. J. Harwood, I. Heywood, I. Prandoni, H. J. A. Röttgering, J. Sabater, D. J. B. Smith, R. J. van Weeren

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We present observations of the XMM Large-Scale Structure (XMM-LSS) field observed with the LOw Frequency ARray (LOFAR) at 120-168 MHz. Centred at a J2000 declination of $-4.5^{\circ}$, this is a challenging field to observe with LOFAR because of its low elevation with respect to the array. The low elevation of this field reduces the effective collecting area of the telescope, thereby reducing sensitivity. This low elevation also causes the primary beam to be elongated in the north-south direction, which can introduce side lobes in the synthesised beam in this direction. However the XMM-LSS field is a key field to study because of the wealth of ancillary information, encompassing most of the electromagnetic spectrum. The field was observed for a total of 12 hours from three four-hour LOFAR tracks using the Dutch array. The final image presented encompasses $\sim 27$ deg$^2$, which is the region of the observations with a $>$50\% primary beam response. Once combined, the observations reach a central rms of 280 $\mu$Jy beam$^{-1}$ at 144 MHz and have an angular resolution of $7.5 \times \ 8.5$". We present our catalogue of detected sources and investigate how our observations compare to previous radio observations. This includes investigating the flux scale calibration of these observations compared to previous measurements, the implied spectral indices of the sources, the observed source counts and corrections to obtain the true source counts, and finally the clustering of the observed radio sources.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date19 Nov 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2018


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