AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 72 First Results from HST Cosmic Evolution Survey
Special Session, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 10:00-11:30am, Town and Country

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[72.02] The COSMOS HST/ACS Observations: A Public Legacy

Anton Koekemoer (STScI), COSMOS Team

The Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) is the largest contiguous imaging project ever undertaken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) to image a 2 square degree low-background equatorial field in 600 orbits with the F814W (I-band) filter. The principal goal of the project is to probe the formation and evolution of structures with size scales from galaxies to Coma-size clusters during the peak period of star formation and galaxy activity (redshifts ~ 0.5 - 3). I summarize here the observational design of the HST/ACS observations, together with the processing and analysis techniques, and describe the rich public archival treasure trove of data that is now being produced from this survey. Combined with a wealth of ancillary datasets from X-ray through to radio wavelengths, this ACS survey is becoming a truly unique Hubble legacy for understanding the evolution of the visible and dark universe.