Weak Lensing in the Blue: A Counter-intuitive Strategy for Stratospheric Observations

Mohamed M. Shaaban, Ajay S. Gill, Jacqueline McCleary, Richard J. Massey, Steven J. Benton, Anthony M. Brown, Christopher J. Damaren, Tim Eifler, Aurelien A. Fraisse, Spencer Everett, Mathew N. Galloway, Michael Henderson, Bradley Holder, Eric M. Huff, Mathilde Jauzac, William C. Jones, David Lagattuta, Jason S.Y. Leung, Lun Li, Thuy Vy ThuyJohanna M. Nagy, C. Barth Netterfield, Susan F. Redmond, Jason D. Rhodes, Andrew Robertson, Jürgen Schmoll, Ellen Sirks, Suresh Sivanandam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The statistical power of weak lensing measurements is principally driven by the number of high-redshift galaxies whose shapes are resolved. Conventional wisdom and physical intuition suggest this is optimized by deep imaging at long (red or near-IR) wavelengths, to avoid losing redshifted Balmer-break and Lyman-break galaxies. We use the synthetic Emission Line (“EL”)-COSMOS catalog to simulate lensing observations using different filters, from various altitudes. Here were predict the number of exposures to achieve a target z ≳ 0.3 source density, using off-the-shelf and custom filters. Ground-based observations are easily better at red wavelengths, as (more narrowly) are space-based observations. However, we find that SuperBIT, a diffraction-limited observatory operating in the stratosphere, should instead perform its lensing-quality observations at blue wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number245
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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