A multi-wavelength study of z = 3.15 Lyman-α emitters in the GOODS South Field

K. K. Nilsson, P. Møller, O. Möller, J. P. U. Fynbo, Michal Michalowski, D. Watson, C. Ledoux, P. Rosati, K. Pedersen, L. F. Grove

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: Lyα-emitters have proven to be excellent probes of faint, star-forming galaxies in the high redshift universe. However, although the sample of known emitters is increasingly growing, their nature (e.g. stellar masses, ages, metallicities, star-formation rates) is still poorly constrained. Aims: We aim to study the nature of Lyα-emitters, to find the properties of a typical Lyα-emitting galaxy and to compare these properties with the properties of other galaxies at similar redshift, in particular Lyman-break galaxies. Methods: We have performed narrow-band imaging at the VLT, focused on Lyα at redshift z ≈ 3.15, in the GOODS-S field. We have identified a sample of Lyα-emitting candidates, and we have studied their Spectral Energy Distributions (SEDs). Results: We find that the emitters are best fit by an SED with low metallicity (Z/Z&sun; = 0.005), low dust extinction (AV ≈ 0.26) and medium stellar masses of approximately 109 M&sun;. The age is not very well constrained. One object out of 24 appears to be a high redshift Lyα-emitting dusty starburst galaxy. We find filamentary structure as traced by the Lyα-emitters at the 4σ level. The rest-frame UV SED of these galaxies is very similar to that of Lyman Break Galaxies (LBGs) and comply with the selection criteria for U-band drop-outs, except they are intrinsically fainter than the current limit for LBGs. Conclusions: Lyα-emitters are excellent probes of galaxies in the distant universe, and represent a class of star-forming, dust and AGN free, medium mass objects. Based on observations carried out at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) under prog. ID No. 70.A-0447, 274.A-5029 and LP168.A-0485.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-82
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007


Dive into the research topics of 'A multi-wavelength study of z = 3.15 Lyman-α emitters in the GOODS South Field'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this