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Title: Accelerated evolution of the Lyα luminosity function at z ≳ 7 revealed by the Subaru ultra-deep survey for Lyα emitters at z = 7.3

We present the ultra-deep Subaru narrowband imaging survey for Lyα emitters (LAEs) at z = 7.3 in the Subaru/XMM-Newton Deep Survey (SXDS) and Cosmic Evolution Survey (COSMOS) fields (∼0.5 deg{sup 2}) with a total integration time of 106 hr. Exploiting our new sharp bandwidth filter, NB101, installed on the Suprime-Cam, we have reached L(Lyα) = 2.4 × 10{sup 42} erg s{sup –1} (5σ) for z = 7.3 LAEs, about four times deeper than previous Subaru z ≳ 7 studies, which allows us to reliably investigate the evolution of the Lyα luminosity function (LF) for the first time down to the luminosity limit same as those of Subaru z = 3.1-6.6 LAE samples. Surprisingly, we only find three and four LAEs in the SXDS and COSMOS fields, respectively, while one expects a total of ∼65 LAEs by our survey in the case of no Lyα LF evolution from z = 6.6 to 7.3. We identify a decrease of the Lyα LF from z = 6.6 to 7.3 at the >90% confidence level from our z = 7.3 Lyα LF with the best-fit Schechter parameters of L{sub Lyα}{sup ∗}=2.7{sub −1.2}{sup +8.0}×10{sup 42} erg s{sup −1} and ϕ{sup ∗}=3.7{sub −3.3}{sup +17.6}×10{sup −4} Mpc{supmore » −3} for a fixed α = –1.5. Moreover, the evolution of the Lyα LF is clearly accelerated at z > 6.6 beyond the measurement uncertainties including cosmic variance. Because no such accelerated evolution of the UV-continuum LF or the cosmic star formation rate (SFR) is found at z ∼ 7, but suggested only at z > 8, this accelerated Lyα LF evolution is explained by physical mechanisms different from a pure SFR decrease but related to the Lyα production and escape in the process of cosmic reionization. Because a simple accelerating increase of intergalactic medium neutral hydrogen absorbing Lyα cannot be reconciled with Thomson scattering of optical depth measurements from WMAP and Planck, our findings may support new physical pictures suggested by recent theoretical studies, such as the existence of HI clumpy clouds within cosmic ionized bubbles that are selectively absorbing Lyα and the large ionizing photon escape fraction of galaxies causing weak Lyα emission.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;  [1] ; ;  [2] ; ;  [3]
  1. Institute for Cosmic Ray Research, The University of Tokyo, Kashiwa-no-ha, Kashiwa 277-8582 (Japan)
  2. Department of Astronomy, Graduate School of Science, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033 (Japan)
  3. National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370087
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 797; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COSMOLOGY; EMISSION; GALAXIES; HYDROGEN; LUMINOSITY; LYMAN LINES; MASS; PHOTONS; RED SHIFT; STARS; THOMSON SCATTERING; UNIVERSE