Bright Ly alpha emitters at z similar to 9: constraints on the LF from HizELS

D. Sobral, P. N. Best, J. E. Geach, Ian Smail, J. Kurk, M. Cirasuolo, M. Casali, R. J. Ivison, K. Coppin, G. B. Dalton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

New results are presented, as part of the Hi-z Emission Line Survey (HizELS), from the largest area survey to date (1.4 deg(2)) for Ly alpha emitters (LAEs) at z similar to 9. The survey, which is primarily targeting Ha emitters at z < 3, uses the Wide Field CAMera on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and a custom narrow-band filter in the J band and reaches a Ly alpha luminosity limit of similar to 10(43.8) erg s(-1) over a co-moving volume of 1.12 x 10(6) Mpc(3) at z = 8.96 +/- 0.06. Only two candidates were found out of 1517 line emitters and those were rejected as LAEs after follow-up observations. The limit on the space density of bright LAEs is improved by three orders of magnitude, consistent with suppression of the bright end of the Ly alpha luminosity function beyond z similar to 6. Combined with upper limits from smaller but deeper surveys, this rules out some of the most extreme models for high-redshift LAEs. The potential contamination of future narrow-band Ly alpha surveys at z > 7 by Galactic brown dwarf stars is also examined, leading to the conclusion that such contamination may well be significant for searches at 7.7 < z < 8.0, 9.1 < z < 9.5 and 11.7 < z < 12.2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L68-L72
Number of pages5
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume398
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009

Keywords

  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • cosmology: observations
  • SUBARU DEEP FIELD
  • J-BAND SEARCH
  • EMITTING GALAXIES
  • LUMINOSITY FUNCTIONS
  • HIGH-REDSHIFT
  • REIONIZATION
  • EVOLUTION
  • Z-SIMILAR-TO-9
  • POPULATION
  • EMISSION

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