NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2011A-0603

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Proposal Information for 2011A-0603


PI: Vithal Tilvi, Arizona State University, tilvi@asu.edu
Address: School of Earth and Space Exploration, 871404, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA

CoI: James Rhoads, Arizona State University
CoI: Sangeeta Malhotra, Arizona State University
CoI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland
CoI: Hannah Krug, University of Maryland
CoI: Pascale Hibon, Arizona State University
CoI: Rob Swaters, University of Maryland
CoI: Ronald Probst, NOAO

Title: Narrow-band imaging of z=7.7 Lyman alpha Emitters

Abstract: Ly(alpha) galaxies offer an unique probe of cosmological reionization: Because the Ly(alpha) emission line will be attenuated by neutral gas, the redshift evolution of observed Ly(alpha) galaxy numbers is strongly sensitive to the transition from an ionized to a neutral intergalactic medium. We propose 6 nights with NEWFIRM for a sensitive \lya galaxy search, using a new, optimally designed filter of width 35\AA, placed in a dark gap in the OH airglow spectrum. With this configuration (instead of earlier 9 Afilters at (lambda)=1.063 \; (mu) m; Tilvi et al 2010), we will not only quadruple the survey volume but also nearly double the imaging sensitivity allowing us to reach 0.8\timesL_\star. With the proposed survey we expect ~ \ngal z=7.7 \lya emitters. With such high numbers expected in a no-evolution scenario, we can place statistical constraints on the attenuation of \lya which is a signature of a neutral IGM. These observations would thus offer a powerful probe to constrain reionization at z=7.7. In addition, this survey will also provide a large sample of intermediate redshift emission line galaxies (H(alpha), [OIII], and [OII] at z=0.6, 1.1, and 1.8), thus probing the peak of the star formation activity.


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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