NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0287

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0287


PI: James E. 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, Arizona State University
CoI: Hannah Krug, University of Maryland
CoI: Vithal S. Tilvi, Texas A& M University
CoI: Sylvain Veilleux, University of Maryland
CoI: Ronald Probst, NOAO
CoI: Pascale Hibon, Gemini
CoI: Rob Swaters, NOAO

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 is attenuated by intergalactic gas which is ~ 50% neutral, the redshift evolution of observed Ly(alpha) galaxy numbers is strongly sensitive to the transition from an ionized to a neutral intergalactic medium. We request 6 nights with NEWFIRM to finish a sensitive \lya galaxy search, using our new, optimally designed 35Afilter placed in a dark gap in the OH airglow spectrum. With this filter, instead of the 9 \AA\ filters at (lambda)=1.06 \; (mu) m used in our earlier surveys (Tilvi et al 2010, Krug et al 2012), we cover four times the volume per pointing and enjoy twice the throughtput of the previous filter. The improved sensitivity will allow us to reach 0.8\timesL_\star. 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 probe 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 survey is placed in the COSMOS field, where supporting optical and NIR broad-band data allows us to distinguish between high and low-z line emitters efficiently. \it This program % was given 6 nights in 2010A, but was awarded a total of 9.5 nights in 2010A and 2011A, but with weather and instrumentation problems % yielded equivalent of 2 nights we have just 3 nights' worth of data. To find high redshift galaxies we need the full depth of the survey.


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