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Title: First Spectroscopic Confirmations of z ∼ 7.0 Ly α Emitting Galaxies in the LAGER Survey

Abstract

Narrowband imaging is a highly successful approach for finding large numbers of high-redshift Ly α emitting galaxies (LAEs) up to z ∼ 6.6. However, at z ≳ 7 there are as of yet only three narrowband selected LAEs with spectroscopic confirmations (two at z ∼ 6.9–7.0, one at z ∼ 7.3), which hinders extensive studies on cosmic reionization and galaxy evolution at this key epoch. We have selected 23 candidate z ∼ 6.9 LAEs in COSMOS field with the large area narrowband survey Lyman-Alpha Galaxies at the End of Reionization (LAGER). In this work, we present spectroscopic follow-up observations of 12 candidates using the Inamori Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph on Magellan. For nine of these, the observations are sufficiently deep to detect the expected lines. Ly α emission lines are identified in six sources (yielding a success rate of 2/3), including three luminous LAEs with Ly α luminosities of L {sub Lyα} ∼ 10{sup 43.5} erg s{sup −1}, the highest among known spectroscopically confirmed galaxies at ≳7.0. This triples the sample size of spectroscopically confirmed narrowband selected LAEs at z ≳ 7, and confirms the bright-end bump in the Ly α luminosity function we previously derived based on themore » photometric sample, supporting a patchy reionization scenario. Two luminous LAEs appear physically linked with a projected distance of 1.1 pMpc and velocity difference of ∼170 km s{sup −1}. They likely sit in a common ionized bubble produced by themselves or with close neighbors, which reduces the intergalactic medium attenuation of Ly α . A tentative narrow N v λ 1240 line is seen in one source, hinting at activity of a central massive black hole with metal-rich line-emitting gas.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1]; ;  [2]; ; ; ;  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7]; ;  [8];  [9];  [10]
  1. CAS Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Department of Astronomy, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026 (China)
  2. CAS Key Laboratory for Research in Galaxies and Cosmology, Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Shanghai 200030 (China)
  3. School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287 (United States)
  4. Las Campanas Observatory, Carnegie Institution for Science, Casilla 601, La Serena (Chile)
  5. Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, Casilla 603, La Serena (Chile)
  6. The Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University, Beijing 100871 (China)
  7. European Southern Observatory, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Casilla 19001, Santiago (Chile)
  8. Centro de Astroingeniería, Facultad de Física, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago (Chile)
  9. Department of Astronomy, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)
  10. Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Nanjing 210008 (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22654398
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal Letters; Journal Volume: 845; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ATTENUATION; BLACK HOLES; CAMERAS; COSMOLOGY; EMISSION; EVOLUTION; GALAXIES; LUMINOSITY; LYMAN LINES; METALS; RED SHIFT; STARS; UNIVERSE; VELOCITY

Citation Formats

Hu, Weida, Wang, Junxian, Kang, Wenyong, Kong, Xu, Yang, Huan, Zheng, Zhen-Ya, Jiang, Chunyan, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Rhoads, James, Gonzalez, Alicia, Tilvi, Vithal, Infante, Leopoldo, Walker, Alistair R., Jiang, Linhua, Hibon, Pascale, Barrientos, L. Felipe, Galaz, Gaspar, Finkelstein, Steven, and Zheng, XianZhong, E-mail: urverda@mail.ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: jxw@ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: zhengzy@shao.ac.cn, E-mail: Sangeeta.Malhotra@asu.edu, E-mail: James.Rhoads@asu.edu, E-mail: linfante@carnegiescience.edu. First Spectroscopic Confirmations of z ∼ 7.0 Ly α Emitting Galaxies in the LAGER Survey. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA8401.
Hu, Weida, Wang, Junxian, Kang, Wenyong, Kong, Xu, Yang, Huan, Zheng, Zhen-Ya, Jiang, Chunyan, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Rhoads, James, Gonzalez, Alicia, Tilvi, Vithal, Infante, Leopoldo, Walker, Alistair R., Jiang, Linhua, Hibon, Pascale, Barrientos, L. Felipe, Galaz, Gaspar, Finkelstein, Steven, & Zheng, XianZhong, E-mail: urverda@mail.ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: jxw@ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: zhengzy@shao.ac.cn, E-mail: Sangeeta.Malhotra@asu.edu, E-mail: James.Rhoads@asu.edu, E-mail: linfante@carnegiescience.edu. First Spectroscopic Confirmations of z ∼ 7.0 Ly α Emitting Galaxies in the LAGER Survey. United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA8401.
Hu, Weida, Wang, Junxian, Kang, Wenyong, Kong, Xu, Yang, Huan, Zheng, Zhen-Ya, Jiang, Chunyan, Malhotra, Sangeeta, Rhoads, James, Gonzalez, Alicia, Tilvi, Vithal, Infante, Leopoldo, Walker, Alistair R., Jiang, Linhua, Hibon, Pascale, Barrientos, L. Felipe, Galaz, Gaspar, Finkelstein, Steven, and Zheng, XianZhong, E-mail: urverda@mail.ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: jxw@ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: zhengzy@shao.ac.cn, E-mail: Sangeeta.Malhotra@asu.edu, E-mail: James.Rhoads@asu.edu, E-mail: linfante@carnegiescience.edu. Sun . "First Spectroscopic Confirmations of z ∼ 7.0 Ly α Emitting Galaxies in the LAGER Survey". United States. doi:10.3847/2041-8213/AA8401.
@article{osti_22654398,
title = {First Spectroscopic Confirmations of z ∼ 7.0 Ly α Emitting Galaxies in the LAGER Survey},
author = {Hu, Weida and Wang, Junxian and Kang, Wenyong and Kong, Xu and Yang, Huan and Zheng, Zhen-Ya and Jiang, Chunyan and Malhotra, Sangeeta and Rhoads, James and Gonzalez, Alicia and Tilvi, Vithal and Infante, Leopoldo and Walker, Alistair R. and Jiang, Linhua and Hibon, Pascale and Barrientos, L. Felipe and Galaz, Gaspar and Finkelstein, Steven and Zheng, XianZhong, E-mail: urverda@mail.ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: jxw@ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: zhengzy@shao.ac.cn, E-mail: Sangeeta.Malhotra@asu.edu, E-mail: James.Rhoads@asu.edu, E-mail: linfante@carnegiescience.edu},
abstractNote = {Narrowband imaging is a highly successful approach for finding large numbers of high-redshift Ly α emitting galaxies (LAEs) up to z ∼ 6.6. However, at z ≳ 7 there are as of yet only three narrowband selected LAEs with spectroscopic confirmations (two at z ∼ 6.9–7.0, one at z ∼ 7.3), which hinders extensive studies on cosmic reionization and galaxy evolution at this key epoch. We have selected 23 candidate z ∼ 6.9 LAEs in COSMOS field with the large area narrowband survey Lyman-Alpha Galaxies at the End of Reionization (LAGER). In this work, we present spectroscopic follow-up observations of 12 candidates using the Inamori Magellan Areal Camera and Spectrograph on Magellan. For nine of these, the observations are sufficiently deep to detect the expected lines. Ly α emission lines are identified in six sources (yielding a success rate of 2/3), including three luminous LAEs with Ly α luminosities of L {sub Lyα} ∼ 10{sup 43.5} erg s{sup −1}, the highest among known spectroscopically confirmed galaxies at ≳7.0. This triples the sample size of spectroscopically confirmed narrowband selected LAEs at z ≳ 7, and confirms the bright-end bump in the Ly α luminosity function we previously derived based on the photometric sample, supporting a patchy reionization scenario. Two luminous LAEs appear physically linked with a projected distance of 1.1 pMpc and velocity difference of ∼170 km s{sup −1}. They likely sit in a common ionized bubble produced by themselves or with close neighbors, which reduces the intergalactic medium attenuation of Ly α . A tentative narrow N v λ 1240 line is seen in one source, hinting at activity of a central massive black hole with metal-rich line-emitting gas.},
doi = {10.3847/2041-8213/AA8401},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal Letters},
number = 2,
volume = 845,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Aug 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Sun Aug 20 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}
  • We present the first results from the ongoing Lyman Alpha Galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (LAGER) project, which is the largest narrowband survey for z ∼ 7 galaxies to date. Using a specially built narrowband filter NB964 for the superb large-area Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the NOAO/CTIO 4 m Blanco telescope, LAGER has collected 34 hr NB964 narrowband imaging data in the 3 deg{sup 2} COSMOS field. We have identified 23 Ly α Emitter candidates at z = 6.9 in the central 2-deg{sup 2} region, where DECam and public COSMOS multi-band images exist. The resulting luminosity function (LF)more » can be described as a Schechter function modified by a significant excess at the bright end (four galaxies with L {sub Lyα∼} 10{sup 43.4±0.2} erg s{sup −1}). The number density at L {sub Ly} {sub α} ∼ 10{sup 43.4±0.2} erg s{sup −1} is little changed from z = 6.6, while at fainter L {sub Lyα} it is substantially reduced. Overall, we see a fourfold reduction in Ly α luminosity density from z = 5.7 to z = 6.9. Combined with a more modest evolution of the continuum UV luminosity density, this suggests a factor of ∼3 suppression of Ly α by radiative transfer through the z ∼ 7 intergalactic medium (IGM). It indicates an IGM neutral fraction of x {sub Hi} ∼ 0.4–0.6 (assuming Ly α velocity offsets of 100–200 km s{sup −1}). The changing shape of the Ly α LF between z ≲ 6.6 and z = 6.9 supports the hypothesis of ionized bubbles in a patchy reionization at z ∼ 7.« less
  • We present the rest-frame optical spectroscopic properties of 60 faint ( R {sub AB} ∼ 27; L ∼ 0.1 L {sub *}) Ly α -selected galaxies (LAEs) at z  ≈ 2.56. These LAEs also have rest-UV spectra of their Ly α emission line morphologies, which trace the effects of interstellar and circumgalactic gas on the escape of Ly α photons. We find that the LAEs have diverse rest-optical spectra, but their average spectroscopic properties are broadly consistent with the extreme low-metallicity end of the populations of continuum-selected galaxies selected at z  ≈ 2–3. In particular, the LAEs have extremely high [O iii]more » λ 5008/H β ratios (log([O iii]/H β ) ∼ 0.8) and low [N ii] λ 6585/H α ratios (log([N ii]/H α ) < 1.15). Coupled with a detection of the [O iii] λ 4364 auroral line, these measurements indicate that the star-forming regions in faint LAEs are characterized by high electron temperatures (T{sub e} ≈ 1.8 × 10{sup 4} K), low oxygen abundances (12 + log(O/H) ≈ 8.04, Z{sub neb} ≈ 0.22 Z {sub ⊙}), and high excitations with respect to their more luminous continuum-selected analogs. Several of our faintest LAEs have line ratios consistent with even lower metallicities, including six with 12 + log(O/H) ≈ 6.9–7.4 (Z {sub neb} ≈ 0.02–0.05 Z{sub ⊙}). We interpret these observations in light of new models of stellar evolution (including binary interactions) that have been shown to produce long-lived populations of hot, massive stars at low metallicities. We find that strong, hard ionizing continua are required to reproduce our observed line ratios, suggesting that faint galaxies are efficient producers of ionizing photons and important analogs of reionization-era galaxies. Furthermore, we investigate the physical trends accompanying Ly α emission across the largest current sample of combined Ly α and rest-optical galaxy spectroscopy, including both the 60 KBSS-Ly α LAEs and 368 more luminous galaxies at similar redshifts. We find that the net Ly α emissivity (parameterized by the Ly α equivalent width) is strongly correlated with nebular excitation and ionization properties and weakly correlated with dust attenuation, suggesting that metallicity plays a strong role in determining the observed properties of these galaxies by modulating their stellar spectra, nebular excitation, and dust content.« less
  • We present the first spectroscopic measurements of the [O III] 5007 A line in two z {approx} 3.1 Ly{alpha} emitting galaxies (LAEs) using the new near-infrared instrument LUCIFER1 on the 8.4 m Large Binocular Telescope. We also describe the optical imaging and spectroscopic observations used to identify these LAEs. Using the [O III] line we have measured accurate systemic redshifts for these two galaxies, and discovered a velocity offset between the [O III] and Ly{alpha} lines in both, with the Ly{alpha} line peaking 342 and 125 km s{sup -1} redward of the systemic velocity. These velocity offsets imply that theremore » are powerful outflows in high-redshift LAEs. They also ease the transmission of Ly{alpha} photons through the interstellar medium and intergalactic medium around the galaxies. By measuring these offsets directly, we can refine both Ly{alpha}-based tests for reionization, and Ly{alpha} luminosity function measurements where the Ly{alpha} forest affects the blue wing of the line. Our work also provides the first direct constraints on the strength of the [O III] line in high-redshift LAEs. We find [O III] fluxes of 7 and 36 x10{sup -17} erg s{sup -1} cm{sup -2} in two z {approx} 3.1 LAEs. These lines are strong enough to dominate broadband flux measurements that include the line (in this case, K{sub s} -band photometry). Spectral energy distribution fits that do not account for the lines would therefore overestimate the 4000 A (and/or Balmer) break strength in such galaxies, and hence also the ages and stellar masses of such high-z galaxies.« less
  • We present the results of a high spatial resolution study of the line emission in a sample of z = 3.1 Ly{alpha}-emitting galaxies (LAEs) in the Extended Chandra Deep Field-South. Of the eight objects with coverage in our HST/WFPC2 narrowband imaging, two have clear detections and two are barely detected ({approx}2 {sigma}). The clear detections are within {approx}0.5 kpc of the centroid of the corresponding rest-UV continuum source, suggesting that the line-emitting gas and young stars in LAEs are spatially coincident. The brightest object exhibits extended emission with a half-light radius of {approx}1.5 kpc, but a stack of the remainingmore » LAE surface brightness profiles is consistent with the WFPC2 point-spread function. This suggests that the Ly{alpha} emission in these objects originates from a compact ({approx}<2 kpc) region and cannot be significantly more extended than the far-UV continuum emission ({approx}<1 kpc). Comparing our WFPC2 photometry to previous ground-based measurements of their monochromatic fluxes, we find at 95% (99.7%) confidence that we cannot be missing more than 22% (32%) of the Ly{alpha} emission.« less
  • We present the results of our ultra-deep Keck/DEIMOS spectroscopy of z-dropout galaxies in the Subaru Deep Field and Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey's northern field. For 3 out of 11 objects, we detect an emission line at {approx}1 {mu}m with a signal-to-noise ratio of {approx}10. The lines show asymmetric profiles with high weighted skewness values, consistent with being Ly{alpha}, yielding redshifts of z = 7.213, 6.965, and 6.844. Specifically, we confirm the z = 7.213 object in two independent DEIMOS runs with different spectroscopic configurations. The z = 6.965 object is a known Ly{alpha} emitter, IOK-1, for which our improvedmore » spectrum at a higher resolution yields a robust skewness measurement. The three z-dropouts have Ly{alpha} fluxes of 3 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup -17} erg s{sup -1} cm{sup -2} and rest-frame equivalent widths EW{sup Ly{alpha}}{sub 0} = 33-43 A. Based on the largest spectroscopic sample of 43 z-dropouts, which is the combination of our and previous data, we find that the fraction of Ly{alpha}-emitting galaxies (EW{sup Ly{alpha}}{sub 0} > 25 A) is low at z {approx} 7; 17% {+-} 10% and 24% {+-} 12% for bright (M{sub UV} {approx_equal} -21) and faint (M{sub UV} {approx_equal} -19.5) galaxies, respectively. The fractions of Ly{alpha}-emitting galaxies drop from z {approx} 6 to 7 and the amplitude of the drop is larger for faint galaxies than for bright galaxies. These two pieces of evidence would indicate that the neutral hydrogen fraction of the intergalactic medium increases from z {approx} 6 to 7 and that the reionization proceeds from high- to low-density environments, as suggested by an inside-out reionization model.« less