Jeyhan S. Kartaltepe, National Optical Astronomy Observatory
Mark Mozena, University of California - Santa Cruz
Dale D. Kocevski, University of KentuckyFollow
Daniel H. McIntosh, University of Missouri - Kansas City
Jennifer Lotz, Space Telescope Science Institute
Eric F. Bell, University of Michigan
Sandra M. Faber, University of California, Santa Cruz
Harry C. Ferguson, Space Telescope Science Institute
David C. Koo, University of California - Santa Cruz
Robert Bassett, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Maksym Bernyk, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Kirsten Blancato, Wellesley College
Frederic Bournaud, Université Paris Diderot, France
Paolo Cassata, Aix Marseille Université, France
M. Castellano, INAF – Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Italy
Edmond Cheung, University of California - Santa Cruz
Christopher J. Conselice, University of Nottingham, UK
D. Croton, Swinburne University of Technology, Australia
Tomas Dahlen, Space Telescope Science Institute
Duilia F. de Mello, Catholic University of America
Laura DeGroot, University of California - Riverside
Jennifer Donley, Los Alamos National Laboratory
Javiera Guedes, ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Norman A. Grogin, Space Telescope Science Institute
Nimish Hathi, University of California - Riverside
Matt Hilton, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Brett Hollon, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Anton M. Koekemoer, Space Telescope Science Institute
Nick Liu, Space Telescope Science Institute
Ray A. Lucas, Space Telescope Science Institute


We have undertaken an ambitious program to visually classify all galaxies in the five CANDELS fields down to H < 24.5 involving the dedicated efforts of over 65 individual classifiers. Once completed, we expect to have detailed morphological classifications for over 50,000 galaxies spanning 0 < z < 4 over all the fields, with classifications from 3 to 5 independent classifiers for each galaxy. Here, we present our detailed visual classification scheme, which was designed to cover a wide range of CANDELS science goals. This scheme includes the basic Hubble sequence types, but also includes a detailed look at mergers and interactions, the clumpiness of galaxies, k-corrections, and a variety of other structural properties. In this paper, we focus on the first field to be completed—GOODS-S, which has been classified at various depths. The wide area coverage spanning the full field (wide+deep+ERS) includes 7634 galaxies that have been classified by at least three different people. In the deep area of the field, 2534 galaxies have been classified by at least five different people at three different depths. With this paper, we release to the public all of the visual classifications in GOODS-S along with the Perl/Tk GUI that we developed to classify galaxies. We present our initial results here, including an analysis of our internal consistency and comparisons among multiple classifiers as well as a comparison to the Sérsic index. We find that the level of agreement among classifiers is quite good (>70% across the full magnitude range) and depends on both the galaxy magnitude and the galaxy type, with disks showing the highest level of agreement (>50%) and irregulars the lowest (k-corrections between the V-band and H-band observations and find that a small fraction (84 galaxies in total) are classified as being very different between these two bands. These galaxies typically have very clumpy and extended morphology or are very faint in the V-band.

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Notes/Citation Information

Published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, v. 221, no. 1, article 11, p. 1-17.

© 2016. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

The copyright holders have granted the permission for posting the article here.

Due to the large number of authors, only the first 30 and the authors affiliated with the University of Kentucky are listed in the author section above. For the complete list of authors, please download this article.

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Funding Information

Support for this work was provided by NASA through Hubble Fellowship grant # HST-HF-51292.01A awarded by the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., for NASA, under contract NAS 5-26555. Support for Program number HST-GO-12060 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Incorporated, under NASA contract NAS5-26555. O'Leary and Blancato were supported by the NOAO/KPNO Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program with two grants from the National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (AST-0754223, AST-1262829).

apjs520848t2_mrt.txt (17148 kB)
Supporting Material: Table 2 machine-readable version

apjs520848t3_mrt.txt (6073 kB)
Supporting Material: Table 3 machine-readable version