James Webb Space Telescope Feed Post

Date: 6/10/2024

Harvard ADS: Halfway to the Peak: The JWST MIRI 5.6 micron number counts and source population

Paper abstract: We present an analysis of 8 JWST Mid-Infrared Instrument 5.6 micron images with 5sigma depths of ~0.1uJy. We detect 2854 sources within our combined area of 18.4 sq.arcmin -- a >4x increase in source density over earlier IRAC channel 3 data. We compute the MIRI 5.6um number counts including an analysis of the field-to-field variation. Relative to earlier published MIRI 5.6micron counts, our counts have a more pronounced knee, at roughly 2\,\muJy. The location and amplitude of the counts at the knee are consistent with the Cowley et al. (2018) model predictions, although these models tend to overpredict the counts below the knee. In areas of overlap, 84% of the MIRI sources have a counterpart in the COSMOS2020 catalog. These MIRI sources have redshifts that are mostly in the z~0.5-2, with a tail out to z~5. They are predominantly moderate to low stellar masses 10^8-10^{10}M_{\odot}) main sequence star-forming galaxies suggesting that with ~2hr exposures, MIRI can reach well below M^* at cosmic noon and reach higher mass systems out to z~5. Nearly 70% of the COSMOS2020 sources in areas of overlap now have a data point at 5.6micron (rest-frame near-IR at cosmic noon) which allows for more accurate stellar population parameter estimates. Finally, we discover 31 MIRI-bright sources not in COSMOS2020. A cross-match with IRAC channel 1 suggests that 10-20% of these are likely lower mass (M_*~10^9M_{\odot}), z~1 dusty galaxies. The rest (80--90%) are consistent with more massive, but still very dusty galaxies at z>3.