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Searching the Continuum for Primeval Galaxies

  • Marshall L. McCall
  • Michael M. Derobertis
Conference paper
Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUS, volume 171)

Abstract

A population of primeval galaxies (PG’s) should be detectable by directly imaging with two intermediate-band filters tuned to either side of the Lyman break (DeRobertis, M. M., and McCall, M. L. 1995, A.J., 109, 1947). In the figure below, the solid and short-dashed curves show the flux (left scale) as a function of redshift from a PG 0.7 Gyr old with a total stellar mass of \(5 \times 10^{10} \mathcal{M}_{\bigodot}\) as seen through filters with rest-frame passbands 890 ± 30 Å (‘β’) and 1010 ± 30 Å(‘ρ’), respectively, moved to redshift 5. The upper curves depict the colour β — ρ (right scale); the dotted line is for the 0.7 Gyr population, and the dot-dashed line is for a 7.5 Gyr model. A source can be identified as a PG if it can be clearly detected in the ρ filter and if it has a colour greater than +0.75 mag. Confusion with any old stellar systems at lower redshifts can be eliminated by supplementing observations with Gunn r and i. The colour condition selects Lyman break objects between redshifts 4.7 and 5.4, a range over an order of magnitude greater than is achievable through an emission line survey. The discriminatory power of the technique is not affected by internal dust.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marshall L. McCall
    • 1
  • Michael M. Derobertis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and AstronomyYork UniversityNorth YorkCanada

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