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Paper   IPM / Astronomy / 16775
School of Astronomy
  Title:   MIGHTEE: Total intensity radio continuum imaging and the COSMOS / XMM-LSS Early Science fields
1.  I. Heywood
2.  M. J. Jarvis
3.  C. L. Hale
4.  I. H. Whittam
5.  H. L. Bester
6.  B. Hugo
7.  J. S. Kenyon
8.  M. Prescott
9.  O. M. Smirnov
10.  C. Tasse
11.  J. M. Afonso
12.  P. N. Best
13.  J. D. Collier
14.  R. P. Deane
15.  B. S. Frank
16.  M. J. Hardcastle
17.  K. Knowles
18.  N. Maddox
19.  E. J. Murphy
20.  I. Prandoni
21.  S. M. Randriamampandry
22.  M. G. Santos
23.  S. Sekhar
24.  F. Tabatabaei
25.  A. R. Taylor
26.  K. Thorat
  Status:   Published
  Journal: MNRAS
  Year:  2021
  Supported by:            ipm IPM
MIGHTEE is a galaxy evolution survey using simultaneous radio continuum, spectro-polarimetry, and spectral line observations from the South African MeerKAT telescope. When complete, the survey will image ∼20 deg2 over the COSMOS, E-CDFS, ELAIS-S1, and XMM-LSS extragalactic deep fields with a central frequency of 1284 MHz. These were selected based on the extensive multiwavelength datasets from numerous existing and forthcoming observational campaigns. Here we describe and validate the data processing strategy for the total intensity continuum aspect of MIGHTEE, using a single deep pointing in COSMOS (1.6 deg2) and a three-pointing mosaic in XMM-LSS (3.5 deg2). The processing includes the correction of direction-dependent effects, and results in thermal noise levels below 2 μJy beam−1 in both fields, limited in the central regions by classical confusion at ∼8″ angular resolution, and meeting the survey specifications. We also produce images at ∼5″ resolution that are ∼3 times shallower. The resulting image products form the basis of the Early Science continuum data release for MIGHTEE. From these images we extract catalogues containing 9,896 and 20,274 radio components in COSMOS and XMM-LSS respectively. We also process a close-packed mosaic of 14 additional pointings in COSMOS and use these in conjunction with the Early Science pointing to investigate methods for primary beam correction of broadband radio images, an analysis that is of relevance to all full-band MeerKAT continuum observations, and wide field interferometric imaging in general. A public release of the MIGHTEE Early Science continuum data products accompanies this article

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