NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2012A-0581

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Proposal Information for 2012A-0581


PI: James Rhoads, Arizona State University, James.Rhoads@asu.edu
Address: School of Earth and Space Exploration, PO Box 871404, Tempe, AZ 85287-1404, USA

CoI: Sangeeta Malhotra, ASU / SESE
CoI: Hannah Krug, University of Maryland
CoI: V. S. Tilvi, Texas A&M University
CoI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland
CoI: Ronald Probst, NOAO
CoI: Pascale Hibon, Gemini Observatory
CoI: Rob Swaters, University of Maryland

Title: Narrow-band search for Redshift 7.7 Lyman-(alpha) Galaxies

Abstract: Ly(alpha) galaxies offer a robust probe of the central phase 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 5 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 double the survey volume and improve the sensitivity allowing us to reach 0.8\timesL_\star. With the proposed survey we should expect ~ \ngal z=7.7 \lya emitters for a non-evolving luminosity function. This will allow us to place statistical constraints on the attenuation of \lya, which is a signature of a neutral IGM. These observations will offer a powerful prbe to constrain reionization at z=7.7. 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. This program was given 6 nights in 2010A, but weather and instrumentation problems yielded equivalent of 2 nights worth of data. To find high redshift galaxies we need the full depth of the survey.


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