The Open UniversitySkip to content

Calibrating photometric redshifts of luminous red galaxies

Padmanabhan, Nikhil; Budavari, Tamás; Schlegel, David J.; Bridges, Terry; Brinkmann, Jonathan; Cannon, Russell; Connolly, Andrew J.; Croom, Scott M.; Csabai, István; Drinkwater, Michael; Eisenstein, Daniel J.; Hewett, Paul C.; Loveday, Jon; Nichol, Robert C.; Pimbblet, Kevin A.; De Propris, Roberto; Schneider, Donald P.; Scranton, Ryan; Seljak, Uroš; Shanks, Tom; Szapudi, István; Szalay, Alexander S. and Wake, David (2005). Calibrating photometric redshifts of luminous red galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 359(1) pp. 237–250.

Full text available as:
PDF (Version of Record) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (633kB) | Preview
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


We discuss the construction of a photometric redshift catalogue of luminous red galaxies (LRGs) from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), emphasizing the principal steps necessary for constructing such a catalogue: (i) photometrically selecting the sample, (ii) measuring photometric redshifts and their error distributions, and (iii) estimating the true redshift distribution. We compare two photometric redshift algorithms for these data and find that they give comparable results. Calibrating against the SDSS and SDSS–2dF (Two Degree Field) spectroscopic surveys, we find that the photometric redshift accuracy is σ ~ 0.03 for redshifts less than 0.55 and worsens at higher redshift (~0.06 for z < 0.7). These errors are caused by photometric scatter, as well as systematic errors in the templates, filter curves and photometric zero-points. We also parametrize the photometric redshift error distribution with a sum of Gaussians and use this model to deconvolve the errors from the measured photometric redshift distribution to estimate the true redshift distribution.We pay special attention to the stability of this deconvolution, regularizing the method with a prior on the smoothness of the true redshift distribution. The methods that we develop are applicable to general photometric redshift surveys.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2005 RAS
ISSN: 1365-2966
Keywords: galaxies; fundamental parameters
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) > Physical Sciences
Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)
Item ID: 38712
Depositing User: Miranda Callaway
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2013 08:50
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 10:34
Share this page:


Altmetrics from Altmetric

Citations from Dimensions

Download history for this item

These details should be considered as only a guide to the number of downloads performed manually. Algorithmic methods have been applied in an attempt to remove automated downloads from the displayed statistics but no guarantee can be made as to the accuracy of the figures.

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   contact the OU