Journal Article

[O <span class="smallCaps">ii</span>] emitters at <i>z</i> ∼ 4.6 in the GOODS field: a homogeneous measure of evolving star formation

K. D. Bayliss, R. G. McMahon, B. P. Venemans, M. Banerji and J. R. Lewis

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 426, issue 3, pages 2178-2188
Published in print November 2012 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online November 2012 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2012.21683.x
[O ii] emitters at z ∼ 4.6 in the GOODS field: a homogeneous measure of evolving star formation

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We present the results of a high-redshift, z = 4.6, survey of [O ii] λ3727 emission line galaxies in the GOODS-S field. The survey uses deep near-infrared data in the NB2090 (λc = 2.095  μm, Δ λ = 0.02 μm) and Ks (λc = 2.146  μm, Δ λ = 0.324 μm) filters taken with the European Southern Observatory instrument, HAWK-I. The images reach an emission line flux limit (5σ) of 3.16 × 10−18 erg s−1 cm −2. At z = 4.6, the survey probes a comoving volume of ∼6680 Mpc3.

Three [O ii] emission line candidates at z ∼ 4.6 are selected using the Lyman-break criteria. Photometric redshift analysis supports the conclusion that these are genuine [O ii] emitters, ruling out a z < 3 solution entirely for one of the candidates. In the analysis presented in this paper, two scenarios are considered: first, all three candidates are genuine [O ii] emitters and secondly, only the most likely candidate is a genuine [O ii] emitter.

We use the line fluxes of these objects to place confidence limits on the star formation rate density (SFRD) in bright (log( [O ii] emission line galaxies. Assuming an observed [O ii]/Hα line ratio of 0.45 and A(Hα) = 1.0 mag, we report an SFRD of in our objects. Using small number statistics, we then place a 50 per cent confidence interval on the global star formation rate of . By combining our results with those from low-z surveys, we compile the first homogeneous set of measurements of the SFRD in bright [O ii] emitters from z = 0 to 4.6. From this, we conclude that there was an increase in the SFRD in the brightest [O ii] emitters of at least a factor of 2 between z = 4.6 and 1.85.

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

Journal Article.  8113 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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