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Spectroscopic Observations of Lyman-Break Galaxies at Redshift ~ 4, 5 and 6 in the GOODS-South Field
The Astrophysical Journal (2009)
  • E. Vanzella
  • Mauro Giavalisco, University of Massachusetts - Amherst
  • M. Dickinson
  • S. Cristiani
  • M. Nonino
  • H. Kuntschner
  • P. Popesso
  • P, Rosati
  • A. Renzini
  • D. Stern
  • C. Cesarsky
  • H. C. Ferguson
  • R. A. E. Fosbury
  • the GOODS Team
We report on observations of Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) selected from the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey at mean redshift z~4, 5 and 6, obtained with FORS2 spectrograph at the ESO-VLT.This program has yielded spectroscopic identifications for 114 galaxies of which 51 are at z~4, 31 at z~5, and 32 at z~6. The adopted selection criteria are effective, identifying galaxies at the expected redshift with minimal foreground contamination. Once selection effects are properly accounted for, the rest-frame UV spectra of the higher-redshift LBGs appear to be similar to their counterparts at z~3. As at z~3, LBGs at z~4 and z~5 show Lya both in emission and in absorption; when in absorption, strong interstellar lines and red UV spectra are observed, a fact also measured at z~2 and 3. At z~6, sensitivity issues bias our sample towards galaxies with Lya in emission; nevertheless, these spectra appear to be similar to their lower-redshift counterparts. As in other studies at similar redshifts, we find clear evidence that brighter LBGs tend to have weaker Lya emission lines. At fixed rest-frame UV luminosity, the equivalent width of the Lya emission line is larger at higher redshifts. At all redshifts where the measurements can be reliably made, the redshift of the Lya emission line turns out to be larger than that of the interstellar absorption lines,with a median velocity difference DeltaV~400 km/s at z~4 and 5, consistent with results at lower redshifts. This shows that powerful, large-scale winds are common at high redshift.In general,there is no strong correlation between the morphology of the UV light and the spectroscopic properties. However, galaxies with deep interstellar absorption lines and strong Lya absorption appear to be more diffuse than galaxies with Lya in emission.(abridged)
  • cosmology: observations,
  • galaxies: formation,
  • galaxies: evolution,
  • galaxies: distances and redshifts
Publication Date
Publisher Statement
This paper was harvested from and ArXiv identifier is arXiv:0901.4364
Citation Information
E. Vanzella, Mauro Giavalisco, M. Dickinson, S. Cristiani, et al.. "Spectroscopic Observations of Lyman-Break Galaxies at Redshift ~ 4, 5 and 6 in the GOODS-South Field" The Astrophysical Journal (2009)
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