LOFAR/H-ATLAS: A deep low-frequency survey of the Herschel-ATLAS North Galactic Pole field

M. J. Hardcastle, G. Gürkan, R. J. van Weeren, W. L. Williams, P. N. Best, F. de Gasperin, D. A. Rafferty, S. C. Read, J. Sabater, T. W. Shimwell, D. J. B. Smith, C. Tasse, N. Bourne, M. Brienza, M. Brüggen, G. Brunetti, K. T. Chyży, J. Conway, L. Dunne, S. A. EalesS. J. Maddox, M. J. Jarvis, E. K. Mahony, R. Morganti, I. Prandoni, H. J. A. Röttgering, E. Valiante, G. J. White

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We present LOFAR High-Band Array (HBA) observations of the Herschel-ATLAS North Galactic Pole survey area. The survey we have carried out, consisting of four pointings covering around 142 square degrees of sky in the frequency range 126--173 MHz, does not provide uniform noise coverage but otherwise is representative of the quality of data to be expected in the planned LOFAR wide-area surveys, and has been reduced using recently developed `facet calibration' methods at a resolution approaching the full resolution of the datasets ($\sim 10 \times 6$ arcsec) and an rms off-source noise that ranges from 100 $\mu$Jy beam$^{-1}$ in the centre of the best fields to around 2 mJy beam$^{-1}$ at the furthest extent of our imaging. We describe the imaging, cataloguing and source identification processes, and present some initial science results based on a 5-$\sigma$ source catalogue. These include (i) an initial look at the radio/far-infrared correlation at 150 MHz, showing that many Herschel sources are not yet detected by LOFAR; (ii) number counts at 150 MHz, including, for the first time, observational constraints on the numbers of star-forming galaxies; (iii) the 150-MHz luminosity functions for active and star-forming galaxies, which agree well with determinations at higher frequencies at low redshift, and show strong redshift evolution of the star-forming population; and (iv) some discussion of the implications of our observations for studies of radio galaxy life cycles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1910-1936
Number of pages27
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date20 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 21 Oct 2016


  • astro-ph.GA


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