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Title: THE LUMINOSITY FUNCTION OF Ly{alpha} EMITTERS AT REDSHIFT z = 7.7

Abstract

Ly{alpha} emission lines should be attenuated in a neutral intergalactic medium. Therefore, the visibility of Ly{alpha} emitters at high redshifts can serve as a valuable probe of reionization at about the 50% level. We present an imaging search for z = 7.7 Ly{alpha} emitting galaxies using an ultra-narrowband filter (filter width = 9 A) on the NEWFIRM imager at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. We found four candidate Ly{alpha} emitters in a survey volume of 1.4x10{sup 4} Mpc{sup 3}, with a line flux brighter than 6 x 10{sup -18} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} (5{sigma} in 2'' aperture). We also performed a detailed Monte Carlo simulation incorporating the instrumental effects to estimate the expected number of Ly{alpha} emitters in our survey and found that we should expect to detect one Ly{alpha} emitter, assuming a non-evolving Ly{alpha} luminosity function (LF) between z = 6.5 and z = 7.7. Even if one of the present candidates is spectroscopically confirmed as a z {approx} 8 Ly{alpha} emitter, it would indicate that there is no significant evolution of the Ly{alpha} LF from z = 3.1 to z {approx} 8. While firm conclusions would need both spectroscopic confirmations and larger surveys to boost the numbermore » counts of galaxies, we successfully demonstrate the feasibility of sensitive near-infrared (1.06 {mu}m) narrowband searches using custom filters designed to avoid the OH emission lines that make up most of the sky background.« less

Authors:
; ; ;  [1];  [2]; ; ;  [3]; ;  [4];  [5]
  1. School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States)
  2. Center for Astrophysics, University of Science and Technology of China, Anhui 230026 (China)
  3. Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 (United States)
  4. NOAO, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)
  5. Texas A and M University, College Station, TX (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
21464742
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Astrophysical Journal
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 721; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1853; Journal ID: ISSN 0004-637X
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION; GALACTIC EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; LUMINOSITY; MONTE CARLO METHOD; RED SHIFT; CALCULATION METHODS; EVOLUTION; OPTICAL PROPERTIES; PHYSICAL PROPERTIES; SIMULATION

Citation Formats

Tilvi, Vithal, Rhoads, James E., Hibon, Pascale, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Wang Junxian, Veilleux, Sylvain, Swaters, Rob, Krug, Hannah, Probst, Ron, Dickinson, Mark, and Finkelstein, Steven L., E-mail: tilvi@asu.ed. THE LUMINOSITY FUNCTION OF Ly{alpha} EMITTERS AT REDSHIFT z = 7.7. United States: N. p., 2010. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1853.
Tilvi, Vithal, Rhoads, James E., Hibon, Pascale, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Wang Junxian, Veilleux, Sylvain, Swaters, Rob, Krug, Hannah, Probst, Ron, Dickinson, Mark, & Finkelstein, Steven L., E-mail: tilvi@asu.ed. THE LUMINOSITY FUNCTION OF Ly{alpha} EMITTERS AT REDSHIFT z = 7.7. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1853.
Tilvi, Vithal, Rhoads, James E., Hibon, Pascale, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Wang Junxian, Veilleux, Sylvain, Swaters, Rob, Krug, Hannah, Probst, Ron, Dickinson, Mark, and Finkelstein, Steven L., E-mail: tilvi@asu.ed. Fri . "THE LUMINOSITY FUNCTION OF Ly{alpha} EMITTERS AT REDSHIFT z = 7.7". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1853.
@article{osti_21464742,
title = {THE LUMINOSITY FUNCTION OF Ly{alpha} EMITTERS AT REDSHIFT z = 7.7},
author = {Tilvi, Vithal and Rhoads, James E. and Hibon, Pascale and Malhotra, Sangeeta and Wang Junxian and Veilleux, Sylvain and Swaters, Rob and Krug, Hannah and Probst, Ron and Dickinson, Mark and Finkelstein, Steven L., E-mail: tilvi@asu.ed},
abstractNote = {Ly{alpha} emission lines should be attenuated in a neutral intergalactic medium. Therefore, the visibility of Ly{alpha} emitters at high redshifts can serve as a valuable probe of reionization at about the 50% level. We present an imaging search for z = 7.7 Ly{alpha} emitting galaxies using an ultra-narrowband filter (filter width = 9 A) on the NEWFIRM imager at the Kitt Peak National Observatory. We found four candidate Ly{alpha} emitters in a survey volume of 1.4x10{sup 4} Mpc{sup 3}, with a line flux brighter than 6 x 10{sup -18} erg cm{sup -2} s{sup -1} (5{sigma} in 2'' aperture). We also performed a detailed Monte Carlo simulation incorporating the instrumental effects to estimate the expected number of Ly{alpha} emitters in our survey and found that we should expect to detect one Ly{alpha} emitter, assuming a non-evolving Ly{alpha} luminosity function (LF) between z = 6.5 and z = 7.7. Even if one of the present candidates is spectroscopically confirmed as a z {approx} 8 Ly{alpha} emitter, it would indicate that there is no significant evolution of the Ly{alpha} LF from z = 3.1 to z {approx} 8. While firm conclusions would need both spectroscopic confirmations and larger surveys to boost the number counts of galaxies, we successfully demonstrate the feasibility of sensitive near-infrared (1.06 {mu}m) narrowband searches using custom filters designed to avoid the OH emission lines that make up most of the sky background.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/721/2/1853},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
issn = {0004-637X},
number = 2,
volume = 721,
place = {United States},
year = {2010},
month = {10}
}