The z = 9-10 galaxy population in the Hubble Frontier Fields and CLASH surveys: the z = 9 luminosity function and further evidence for a smooth decline in ultraviolet luminosity density at z≥ 8

D. J. McLeod, R. J. McLure, J. S. Dunlop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present the results of a search for z = 9-10 galaxies within the first eight pointings of the Hubble Frontier Fields (HFF) survey and 20 cluster fields from the Cluster Lensing And Supernova survey with Hubble (CLASH) survey. Combined with our previous analysis of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, we have now completed a search for z = 9-10 galaxies over ≃ 130 arcmin2, spread across 29 Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3/IR pointings. We confine our primary search for high-redshift candidates in this imaging to the uniformly deep, relatively low magnification regions (i.e. σ160 > 30 AB mag for HFF and σ160 > 28.8 AB mag for CLASH in 0.5-arcsec apertures). We unveil a sample of 33 galaxy candidates at zphot ≥ 8.4, five of which have primary photometric redshift solutions in the range 9.6 <zphot <11.2. The improved statistics and reduced cosmic variance provided by our new sample allows a more accurate determination of the ultraviolet (UV)-selected galaxy luminosity function (LF) at z ≃ 9. Our new results strengthen our previous conclusion that the LF appears to evolve smoothly from z = 8 to 9, an evolution which can be equally well modelled by a factor of ≃ 2 drop in density, or a dimming of ≃ 0.5 mag in M⋆. Moreover, we are able to place initial constraints on the z = 10 LF, finding that the number density at M1500 ≃ -19.7 is log (φ ) = -4.1^{+0.2}_{-0.3}, a factor of ≃ 2 lower than at z = 9. Finally, we use our new results to revisit the issue of the decline in UV luminosity density (ρUV) at z ≥ 8. We conclude that the data continue to support a smooth decline in ρUV over the redshift interval 6 <z <10, in agreement with simple models of early galaxy evolution driven by the growth in the underlying dark matter halo mass function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3812-3824
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume459
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016

Keywords

  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: high-redshift

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