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          Institute: MPI für Astronomie     Collection: Publikationen_mpia     Display Documents

ID: 660832.0, MPI für Astronomie / Publikationen_mpia
The properties of the brightest Ly alpha emitters at z similar to 5.7
Authors:Lidman, C.; Hayes, M.; Jones, D. H.; Schaerer, D.; Westra, E.; Tapken, C.; Meisenheimer, K.; Verhamme, A.
Date of Publication (YYYY-MM-DD):2012-03
Journal Abbrev.:Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue / Number:3
Start Page:1946
End Page:1958
Audience:Not Specified
Abstract / Description:We use deep Very Large Telescope (VLT) optical and near-infrared spectroscopy and deep Spitzer/IRAC imaging to examine the properties of two of the most luminous Lya emitters at z = 5.7. The continuum redward of the Lya line is clearly detected in both objects, thus facilitating a relatively accurate measurement (1020 per cent uncertainties) of the observed rest-frame equivalent widths, which are around 160 angstrom for both objects. Through detailed modelling of the profile of the Lya line with a 3D Monte Carlo radiative transfer code, we estimate the intrinsic rest-frame equivalent width of Lya and find values that are around 300 angstrom, which is at the upper end of the range allowed for very young, moderately metal-poor star-forming galaxies. However, the uncertainties are large and values as high as 700 angstrom are permitted by the data. Both Lya emitters are detected at 3.6 m in deep images taken with the Spitzer Space Telescope. We use these measurements, the measurement of the continuum redward of Lya and other photometry to constrain the spectral energy distributions of these very luminous Lya emitters and to compare them with three similar Lya emitters from the literature. The contribution from nebular emission is included in our models: excluding it results in significantly higher masses. Four of the five Lya emitters have masses of the order of similar to 109 M and fairly high specific star formation rates (10-100 Gyr-1). While our two Lya emitters appear similar in terms of the observed Lya rest-frame equivalent width, they are quite distinct from each other in terms of age, mass and star formation history. Evidence for dust is found in all objects, and emission from nebular lines often makes a dominant contribution to the rest-frame 3.6 m flux. Rich in emission lines, these objects are prime targets for the next generation of extremely large telescopes, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA).
Free Keywords:ISM: general; galaxies: formation; galaxies: high-redshift; galaxies:; individual: SGP 8884; galaxies: individual: S11 5236; galaxies:; starburst; star-forming galaxies; lyman-break galaxies; high-redshift galaxies; ultra-deep-field; rest-frame ultraviolet; stellar populations; cosmic; reionization; radiation transfer; emitting galaxies; formation history
External Publication Status:published
Document Type:Article
Communicated by:N. N.
Affiliations:MPI für Astronomie
External Affiliations:Lidman, C (reprint author), Australian Astron Observ, POB 296, Epping, NSW 1710, Australia. %G English
Identifiers:ISSN:0035-8711 %R 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19994.x
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