The European Large Area ISO Survey — II. Mid-infrared extragalactic source counts

Serjeant, Stephen; Oliver, Seb; Rowan-Robinson, Michael; Crockett, Hans; Missoulis, Vasilis; Sumner, Tim; Gruppioni, Carlotta; Mann, Robert G.; Eaton, Nick; Elbaz, David; Clements, David L.; Baker, Amanda; Efstathiou, Andreas; Cesarsky, Catherine; Danese, Luigi; Franceschini, Alberto; Genzel, Reinhardt; Lawrence, Andy; Lemke, Dietrich; McMahon, Richard G.; Miley, George; Puget, Jean-Loup and Rocca-Volmerange, Brigitte (2000). The European Large Area ISO Survey — II. Mid-infrared extragalactic source counts. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 316(4) pp. 768–778.




We present preliminary source counts at 6.7 and 15 μm from the preliminary analysis of the European Large Area ISO Survey, with limiting flux densities of ∼2 mJy at 15 μm and ∼1 mJy at 6.7 μm. We separate the stellar contribution from the extragalactic using identifications with automated plate measurement sources made with the likelihood ratio technique. We quantify the completeness and reliability of our source extraction using (a) repeated observations over small areas, (b) cross-identifications with stars of known spectral type, (c) detections of the point spread function wings around bright sources and (d) comparison with independent algorithms. Flux calibration at 15 μm was performed using stellar identifications; the calibration does not agree with the pre-flight estimates, probably due to effects of detector hysteresis and photometric aperture correction. The 6.7-μm extragalactic counts are broadly reproduced in the Pearson & Rowan-Robinson model, but the Franceschini et al. model underpredicts the observed source density by ∼0.5–1 dex, although the photometry at 6.7 μm is still preliminary. At 15 μm the extragalactic counts are in excellent agreement with the predictions of the Pearson & Rowan-Robinson, Franceschini et al., Guiderdoni et al. models and the evolving models of Xu et al., over seven orders of magnitude in 15-μm flux density. The counts agree with other estimates from the ISOCAM instrument at overlapping flux densities, provided a consistent flux calibration is used. Luminosity evolution at a rate of (1+z)3, incorporating mid-infrared spectral features, provides a better fit to the 15-μm differential counts than (1+z)4 density evolution. No-evolution models are excluded, implying that below around 10 mJy at 15 μm the source counts become dominated by an evolving cosmological population of dust-shrouded starbursts and/or active galaxies.

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