NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2007A-0561

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Proposal Information for 2007A-0561


PI: Moire Prescott, University of Arizona, mprescott@as.arizona.edu
Address: Steward Observatory, 933 North Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721, USA

CoI: Arjun Dey, NOAO
CoI: Naveen Reddy, NOAO

Title: A Low-Redshift (z<2) Search for Lyman Alpha Emitting Galaxies

Abstract: Ly(alpha)-emitting (LAE) galaxy studies are powerful probes of the reionization epoch. However, these studies have primarily focused on high redshifts (z~3-7) and known overdensities, where the physical nature and large-scale context of LAEs remain largely unconstrained. We propose a search for LAEs at redshifts 1.7<z<1.9. This survey, the first of its kind at these redshifts, will be conducted in fields without any a priori knowledge of galaxy overdensities, providing a large control sample of ~1600-3800 LAEs to examine the evolution of the LAE luminosity function (LF), their clustering properties, and the relationship between LAEs and UV-selected populations at these redshifts. While continuum-selected studies have targeted the bright- end of the galaxy LF, the low redshifts targeted in this survey combined with the use of Ly(alpha) line emission allow us to probe the faint-end which may contribute significantly to the total SFR density. By focusing on z<2, the extensive multi-wavelength coverage of our targeted fields can be used to constrain the physical nature of LAEs in ways not feasible at higher redshifts. The survey will increase the number of galaxies known within the redshift `desert,' and uncover any luminous, spatially extended Ly(alpha) `blobs' in the field. In addition, unlike z>2 LAE studies in which high equivalent width low- z interlopers can be culled only with spectroscopic campaigns, our proposed survey will not be contaminated by \it any low-z line- emitting populations. This project is part of the PI's thesis.


National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360



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