Journal Article

Probing ∼<i>L</i><sub>*</sub> Lyman-break galaxies at <i>z</i>≈ 7 in GOODS-South with WFC3 on <i>Hubble Space Telescope</i>

Stephen M. Wilkins, Andrew J. Bunker, Richard S. Ellis, Daniel Stark, Elizabeth R. Stanway, Kuenley Chiu, Silvio Lorenzoni and Matt J. Jarvis

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 403, issue 2, pages 938-944
Published in print April 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online March 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Probing ∼L* Lyman-break galaxies at z≈ 7 in GOODS-South with WFC3 on Hubble Space Telescope

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We analyse recently acquired near-infrared Hubble Space Telescope imaging of the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS)-South field to search for star-forming galaxies at z≈ 7.0. By comparing Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) 0.98 μm Y-band images with Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) z-band (0.85 μm) images, we identify objects with colours consistent with Lyman-break galaxies at z≃ 6.4–7.4. This new data cover an area five times larger than that previously reported in the WFC3 imaging of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field and affords a valuable constraint on the bright end of the luminosity function. Using additional imaging of the region in the ACS B, V and i bands from GOODS v2.0 and the WFC3J band, we attempt to remove any low-redshift interlopers. Our selection criteria yields six candidates brighter than YAB= 27.0, of which all except one are detected in the ACS z-band imaging and are thus unlikely to be transients. Assuming all six candidates are at z≈ 7, this implies a surface density of objects brighter than YAB= 27.0 of 0.30 ± 0.12 arcmin−2, a value significantly smaller than the prediction from z≈ 6 luminosity function. This suggests continued evolution of the bright end of the luminosity function between z= 6 and 7, with number densities lower at higher redshift.

Keywords: galaxies: evolution; galaxies: formation; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: starburst; ultraviolet: galaxies

Journal Article.  5129 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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