353 research outputs found

    Keck Spectroscopy of Faint 3<z<7 Lyman Break Galaxies:- II. A High Fraction of Line Emitters at Redshift Six

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    As Lyman-alpha photons are scattered by neutral hydrogen, a change with redshift in the Lyman-alpha equivalent width distribution of distant galaxies offers a promising probe of the degree of ionization in the intergalactic medium and hence when cosmic reionization ended. This simple test is complicated by the fact that Lyman-alpha emission can also be affected by the evolving astrophysical details of the host galaxies. In the first paper in this series, we demonstrated both a luminosity and redshift dependent trend in the fraction of Lyman-alpha emitters seen within color-selected Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) over the range 3<z<6; lower luminosity galaxies and those at higher redshift show an increased likelihood of strong emission. Here we present the results from much deeper 12.5 hour exposures with the Keck DEIMOS spectrograph focused primarily on LBGs at z~6 which enable us to confirm the redshift dependence of line emission more robustly and to higher redshift than was hitherto possible. We find 54+/-11% of faint z~6 LBGs show strong (W_0>25 A) emission, an increase of 1.6x from a similar sample observed at z~4. With a total sample of 74 z~6 LBGs, we determine the luminosity-dependent Lyman-alpha equivalent width distribution. Assuming continuity in these trends to the new population of z~7 sources located with the Hubble WFC3/IR camera, we predict that unless the neutral fraction rises in the intervening 200 Myr, the success rate for spectroscopic confirmation using Lyman-alpha emission should be high.Comment: 6 pages, 3 figures, submitted to ApJ

    Constraining dust formation in high-redshift young galaxies

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    Core-collapse supernovae (SNe) are believed to be the first significant source of dust in the Universe. Such SNe are expected to be the main dust producers in young high-redshift Lyman α\alpha emitters (LAEs) given their young ages, providing an excellent testbed of SN dust formation models during the early stages of galaxy evolution. We focus on the dust enrichment of a specific, luminous LAE (Himiko, z6.6z\simeq 6.6) for which a stringent upper limit of 52.1 μ52.1~\muJy (3σ3\sigma) has recently been obtained from ALMA continuum observations at 1.2 mm. We predict its submillimetre dust emission using detailed models that follow SN dust enrichment and destruction and the equilibrium dust temperature, and obtain a plausible upper limit to the dust mass produced by a single SN: md,SN<0.15m_\mathrm{d,SN} < 0.15--0.45 M_\odot, depending on the adopted dust optical properties. These upper limits are smaller than the dust mass deduced for SN 1987A and that predicted by dust condensation theories, implying that dust produced in SNe are likely to be subject to reverse shock destruction before being injected into the interstellar medium. Finally, we provide a recipe for deriving md,SNm_\mathrm{d,SN} from submillimetre observations of young, metal poor objects wherein condensation in SN ejecta is the dominant dust formation channel.Comment: 10 pages, 3 figures, accepted for publication in MNRA