Science > Surveys > JVLA Frontier Fields

VLA Frontier Fields

by Davis Murphy last modified Jan 12, 2021 by Eric F. Jimenez-Andrade

The VLA Frontier Fields Survey

The Hubble Frontier Field MACSJ0717+3745. Credits: Ian Heywood.
The Hubble Frontier Field MACSJ0717+3745. RGB image: HST F814W, F606W, F435W. Inferno color scale: VLA 3GHz. Credits: Ian Heywood.


The Team

    • PI: Eric Murphy (NRAO)
    • Ian Heywood (University of Oxford, Rhodes University)
    • Eric Faustino Jiménez-Andrade (NRAO)
    • Emmanuel Momjian (NRAO)
    • Kyle Penner (previously NRAO)
    • Ian Smail (Durham University)
    • Joseph Lazio (Caltech)
    • Mark Dickinson (NOAO)
    • Lee Armus (IPAC)




The goal of the  VLA Frontier Fields Survey is to characterize the radio continuum emission of high-redshift galaxies by leveraging massive clusters that magnify intrinsically faint, distant systems. This survey enriches the legacy of the Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) by providing deep 3 and 6 GHz images of the MACSJ0416.1-2403, MACSJ0717.5+3745, and MACSJ1149.5+2223 galaxy clusters. The radio images  have a depth of ~1uJy/beam and reach sub-arcsec resolution (see Table below). Together with the extensive ancillary data of the HFF, including deep HST and Spitzer data, the VLA Frontier Fields Survey enables the exploration of a variety of extragalactic topics, such as dusty star-forming galaxies at high redshift, the evolution of supermassive black holes,  and  the lensing clusters themselves. The VLA Frontier Fields project is a public legacy survey, and the image and catalog products are freely available.


Hubble Frontier FieldFrequency [GHz]FWHM beam size of high / low  resolution image [arcsec]rms noise of high / low resolution image [μJy/beam]
MACSJ0416.1-2403 3 (0.94 x 0.51)   /   (4.39 x 3.12) 1.0  /  1.8
6 (0.53 x 0.30)   /   (0.94 x 0.68) 0.9  /  1.0
MACSJ0717.5+3745 3 (0.73 x 0.61)   /   (3.57 x 3.42) 0.7  /  1.2
6 (0.33 x 0.27)   /   (0.74 x 0.69) 1.0  /  1.1
MACSJ1149.5+2223 3 (0.51 x 0.48)   /   (3.16 x 3.05) 0.9  /  1.6
6 (0.28 x 0.27)   /   (0.70 x 0.65) 0.9  /  1.0



Based on observations taken with the Very Large Array operated by the NRAO. The National Radio Astronomy Observatory is a facility of the National Science Foundation operated under cooperative agreement by Associated Universities, Inc. Support for this work was provided by NASA through grant number HST-AR-14306.001-A from the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.