Journal Article

[O <span class="smallCaps">ii</span>] emitters in the GOODS field at <i>z</i>∼ 1.85: a homogeneous measure of evolving star formation

K. D. Bayliss, R. G. McMahon, B. P. Venemans, E. V. Ryan-Weber and J. R. Lewis

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 413, issue 4, pages 2883-2894
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online May 2011 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
[O ii] emitters in the GOODS field at z∼ 1.85: a homogeneous measure of evolving star formation

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We present the results of a deep, near-infrared, narrow-band imaging survey at a central wavelength of 1.062 μm (FWHM = 0.01 μm) in the GOODS-South field using the ESO VLT instrument, HAWK-I. The data are used to carry out the highest redshift search for [O ii] λ3727 Å emission line galaxies to date. The images reach an emission line flux limit (5σ) of 1.5 × 10−17 erg cm−2 s−1, additionally making the survey the deepest of its kind at high redshift. In this paper we identify a sample of [O ii] λ3727 Å emission line objects at redshift z∼ 1.85 in a comoving volume of ∼4100 Mpc−3. Objects are selected using an observed equivalent width (EWobs) threshold of EWobs> 50Å. The sample is used to derive the space density and constrain the luminosity function of [O ii] emitters at z= 1.85. We find that the space density (ρ) of objects with observed [O ii] luminosities in the range is log(ρ) =−2.45 ± 0.14 Mpc−3, a factor of 2 greater than the observed space density of [O ii] emitters reported at z∼ 1.4. After accounting for completeness and assuming an internal extinction correction of A= 1 mag (equivalent to = 1.87), we report a star formation rate density of M yr−1 Mpc−3. We independently derive the dust extinction of the sample using 24-μm fluxes and find a mean extinction of magnitudes (A= 0.52). This is significantly lower than the A= 1 (= 1.86) mag value widely used in the literature. Finally, we incorporate this improved extinction correction into the star formation rate density measurement and report M yr−1 Mpc−3.

Keywords: galaxies: distances and redshifts; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies: luminosity function, mass function; galaxies: star formation

Journal Article.  8704 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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