VICS82: The VISTA–CFHT Stripe 82 Near-infrared Survey
Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
We present the VISTA-CFHT Stripe 82 (VICS82) survey: a near-infrared (J+Ks) survey covering 150 square degrees of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) equatorial Stripe 82 to an average depth of J=21.9 AB mag and Ks=21.4 AB mag (80% completeness limits; 5-sigma point source depths are approximately 0.5 mag brighter). VICS82 contributes to the growing legacy of multi-wavelength data in the Stripe 82 footprint. The addition of near-infrared photometry to the existing SDSS Stripe 82 coadd ugriz
... 82 coadd ugriz photometry reduces the scatter in stellar mass estimates to delta log(M_stellar)~0.3 dex for galaxies with M_stellar>10^9M_sun at z~0.5, and offers improvement compared to optical-only estimates out to z~1, with stellar masses constrained within a factor of approximately 2.5. When combined with other multi-wavelength imaging of the Stripe, including moderate-to-deep ultraviolet (GALEX), optical and mid-infrared (Spitzer IRAC) coverage, as well as tens of thousands of spectroscopic redshifts, VICS82 gives access to approximately 0.5 Gpc^3 of comoving volume. Some of the main science drivers of VICS82 include (a) measuring the stellar mass function of L^star galaxies out to z~1; (b) detecting intermediate redshift quasars at 2<z<3.5; (c) measuring the stellar mass function and baryon census of clusters of galaxies, and (d) performing optical/near-infrared-cosmic microwave background lensing cross-correlation experiments linking stellar mass to large-scale dark matter structure. Here we define and describe the survey, highlight some early science results and present the first public data release, which includes an SDSS-matched catalogue as well as the calibrated pixel data itself.