Calibrating [O II] star formation rates at z > 1 from dual H alpha-[O II] imaging from HiZELS

Masao Hayashi*, David Sobral, Philip N. Best, Ian Smail, Tadayuki Kodama

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigate the relationship between H alpha and [O II](lambda 3727) emission in faint star-forming galaxies at z = 1.47 with dust uncorrected star formation rates (SFRs) down to 1.4 M-circle dot yr(-1), using data in two narrow bands from wide-field camera/United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and Subaru prime focus camera/Subaru. A stacking analysis allows us to investigate H alpha emission flux from bright [O II] emitters as well as faint ones for which H alpha is not individually detected, and to compare them with a large sample of local galaxies. We find that there is a clear, positive correlation between the average H alpha and [O II] luminosities for [O II] emitters at z = 1.47, with its slope being consistent with the local relation. [O II] emitters at z = 1.47 have lower mean observed ratios of H alpha/[O II] suggesting a small but systematic offset (at 2.8 sigma significance) towards lower values of dust attenuation, A(H alpha) similar to 0.35, than local galaxies. This confirms that [O II] selection tends to pick up galaxies which are significantly less dusty on average than H alpha-selected ones, with the difference being higher at z = 1.47 than at z = 0. The discrepancy of the observed line ratios between [O II] emitters at z = 1.47 and the local galaxies may in part be due to the samples having different metallicities. However, we demonstrate that metallicity is unlikely to be the main cause. Therefore, it is important to take into account that the relations for the dust correction which are derived using H alpha emitter samples, and frequently used in many studies of high-z galaxies, may overestimate the intrinsic SFRs of [O II]-selected galaxies, and that surveys of [O II] emission galaxies are likely to miss dusty populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1042-1050
Number of pages9
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume430
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013

Keywords

  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • DIGITAL SKY SURVEY
  • ALPHA LUMINOSITY FUNCTION
  • MASS-METALLICITY RELATION
  • HIGH-REDSHIFT SURVEY
  • FORMING GALAXIES
  • H-ALPHA
  • FORMATION HISTORY
  • DEEP FIELD
  • SUBMILLIMETER GALAXIES
  • RED-SEQUENCE

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