Journal Article

New star-forming galaxies at <i>z</i>≈ 7 from Wide Field Camera Three imaging

Stephen M. Wilkins, Andrew J. Bunker, Silvio Lorenzoni and Joseph Caruana

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 411, issue 1, pages 23-36
Published in print February 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online January 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.17626.x
New star-forming galaxies at z≈ 7 from Wide Field Camera Three imaging

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The addition of Wide Field Camera Three on the Hubble Space Telescope has led to a dramatic increase in our ability to study the z > 6 Universe. The improvement in the near-infrared (NIR) sensitivity of WFC3 over previous instruments has enabled us to reach apparent magnitudes approaching 29 (AB). This allows us to probe the rest-frame UV continuum, redshifted into the NIR at z > 6. Taking advantage of the large optical depths of the intergalactic medium at this redshift, resulting in the Lyman α break, we use a combination of WFC3 imaging and pre-existing Advanced Camera for Surveys imaging to search for z≈ 7 galaxies over four fields in and around Great Observatories Origins Survey-South (GOODS-S). Our analysis reveals 29 new z≈ 7 star-forming galaxy candidates in addition to 15 pre-existing candidates already discovered in these fields. The improved statistics from our doubling of the robust sample of z-drop candidates confirms the previously observed evolution of the bright end of the luminosity function.

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

Journal Article.  9041 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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