NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2009B-0377

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Proposal Information for 2009B-0377


PI: Steven Finkelstein, Texas A&M University, stevenf@physics.tamu.edu
Address: Department of Physics, 4242 TAMU, College Station, TX 77845, United States

CoI: James Rhoads, Arizona State University
CoI: Sangeeta Malhotra, Arizona State University
CoI: Emily McLinden, Arizona State University

Title: Luminosity Function and Evolution of Lyman Alpha Galaxies at z ~ 2.1

Abstract: We propose KPNO Mayall + MOSAIC (lambda)3727 narrow-band imaging to select Lyman alpha emitting galaxies (LAEs) at z ~ 2.1. Numerous LAEs have been identified from 3.1 <=z <=6, and also recently at z ~ 0.3. While the Ly(alpha) luminosity function (LF) does not appear to evolve from z=3.1 - 6, the computed Ly(alpha) LF at z ~ 0.3 shows changes in both the characteristic Ly(alpha) luminosity L^* (fainter) and characteristic number density \Phi^* (rarer), meaning that evolution in the Ly(alpha) LF has occurred from 0.3 <=z <=3.1. Identification of a large sample of LAEs at z ~ 2.1 will enable calculation of the Ly(alpha) LF at an intermediate redshift, which we can use to search for evolution. In addition, a sample of LAEs at z ~ 2.1 will enable ground-based H(alpha) emission line measurements, which will allow in depth investigation into the cause of the Ly(alpha) emission as well as the ISM geometry in these objects, \bf independent of continuum detections. Finally, this sample will allow us to investigate possible age, stellar mass, dust and dark matter halo mass (via large scale structure) evolution in LAEs down to z ~ 2.1.


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