The Chandra Deep Field North survey. XIII. 2 Ms point-source catalogs

D. M. Alexander, F. E. Bauer, W. N. Brandt, D. P. Schneider, A. E. Hornschemeier, C. Vignali, A. J. Barger, P. S. Broos, L. L. Cowie, G. P. Garmire, L. K. Townsley, M. W. Bautz, G. Chartas, W. L.W. Sargent

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

659 Scopus citations


We present point-source catalogs for the ≈2 Ms exposure of the Chandra Deep Field North, currently the deepest X-ray observation of the universe in the 0.5-8.0 keV band. Five hundred and three (503) X-ray sources are detected over an ≈448 arcmin2 area in up to seven X-ray bands. Twenty (20) of these X-ray sources lie in the central ≈5.3 arcmin2 Hubble Deep Field North (13,600-3000+3800 sources deg -2). The on-axis sensitivity limits are ≈2.5 × 10 -17 ergs cm-2 s-1 (0.5-2.0 keV) and ≈1.4 × 10-16 ergs cm-2 s-1 (2-8 keV). Source positions are determined using matched-filter and centroiding techniques; the median positional uncertainty is ≈0″.3. The X-ray colors of the detected sources indicate a broad variety of source types, although absorbed AGNs (including a small number of possible Compton-thick sources) are clearly the dominant type. We also match lower significance X-ray sources to optical counterparts and provide a list of 79 optically bright (R ≲ 23) lower significance Chandra sources. The majority of these sources appear to be starburst and normal galaxies. The average backgrounds in the 0.5-2.0 keV and 2-8 keV bands are 0.056 and 0.135 counts Ms-1 pixel-1, respectively. The background count distributions are very similar to Poisson distributions. We show that this ≈2 Ms exposure is approximately photon limited in all seven X-ray bands for regions close to the aim point, and we predict that exposures up to ≈25 Ms (0.5-2.0 keV) and ≈4 Ms (2-8 keV) should remain nearly photon limited. We demonstrate that this observation does not suffer from source confusion within ≈6′ of the aim point, and future observations are unlikely to be source-confusion limited within ≈3′ of the aim point even for source densities exceeding 100,000 deg-2. These analyses directly show that Chandra can achieve significantly higher sensitivities in an efficient, nearly photon-limited manner and be largely free of source confusion. To allow consistent comparisons, we have also produced point-source catalogs for the ≈1 Ms Chandra Deep Field South (CDF-S). Three hundred and twenty-six (326) X-ray sources are included in the main Chandra catalog, and an additional 42 optically bright X-ray sources are included in a lower significance Chandra catalog. We find good agreement with the photometry of the previously published CDF-S catalogs; however, we provide significantly improved positional accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-574
Number of pages36
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2 1772
StatePublished - Aug 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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