NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2010B-0146

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Proposal Information for 2010B-0146


PI: Arjun Dey, NOAO, dey@noao.edu
Address: 950 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA

CoI: Naveen Reddy, NOAO
CoI: Moire Prescott, University of California, Santa Barbara
CoI: Mark Brodwin, CfA
CoI: Lei Xu, Steward Observatory

Title: Probing the Low-Mass End of the Galaxy Mass Function at z~2: A Survey for Low-z Ly(alpha) Emitters

Abstract: The steep low-luminosity end of the galaxy luminosity function at high-redshift implies that low luminosity galaxies may contribute significantly to the mass and star-formation density of the universe at early epochs. Lyman alpha emitting galaxies (LAEs) are powerful probes of the low-luminosity end of the luminosity function, and have also been used to place constraints on the reionization epoch. However, thus far, LAE studies have focused primarily on high redshifts (z~3-7) where the physical nature and large-scale context of LAEs remain largely unconstrained. In 2007A we undertook a pilot imaging search (in ~0.9 deg^2) for LAEs at 1.8<z<2.0, the lowest redshift survey of its kind, and detected a sample of ~500 high equivalent width LAEs. In 2008A we spectroscopically confirmed 20 candidates, thus verifying the selection method. We are now conducting a survey for z\ltsim 2 LAEs in 4 fields with existing deep Spitzer and multiwavelength data. Here, we propose to complete the observations of our 3 fall fields (begun in 09B, but plagued by poor weather). The deep near-/mid-IR data in these fields will provide robust \it measurements of the LAE stellar masses and thereby quantify the importance of the LAE phase at different galaxy mass and luminosity scales. This is a key step in understanding how such galaxies evolve with time. Measurement of the low-z LAE auto- and cross-correlation functions (with other populations at similar redshifts) will provide constraints on the halo masses of the LAEs.


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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