Optical-to-Mid-Infrared Observations of Ly-α Galaxies at z≈5 in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field: A Young and Low Mass Population


High redshift galaxies selected on the basis of strong Ly-α emission tend to be young and have small physical sizes. We show this by analyzing the spectral energy distribution of nine Ly-α-emitting galaxies (LAEs) at 4.0 < z < 5.7 in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field . Rest-frame UV to optical 700Å < λ < 7500Å luminosities, or upper limits, are used to constrain old stellar populations. We derive best fit, as well as maximally massive and maximally old, properties of all nine objects. We show that these faint and distant objects are all very young, most likely only a few million years old, and not massive, the mass in stars being ≈ 10 − 10 M⊙. Deep Spitzer Infrared Array Camera observations of these objects, even in cases where the object was not detected, proved crucial in constraining the masses of these objects. The space density of these objects, ≈ 1.25×10 Mpc, is comparable to previously reported space densities of LAEs at moderate-to-high redshifts. These Ly-α galaxies show modest star formation rates of ≈ 8 M⊙ yr , which is nevertheless strong enough to have allowed them to assemble their stellar mass in less than a few million years. These sources appear to have small physical sizes, usually smaller than 1 kpc, and are also rather concentrated. They are likely to be some of the least massive and youngest high redshift galaxies observed to date. Subject headings: galaxies: evolution, galaxies: high redshift, galaxies: formation, galaxies: structure, surveys, cosmology Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD 21218. Affiliated with the Space Science Depatment of the European Space Agency, ESTEC, NL-2200 AG Noordwijk, Netherlands. School of Earth and Space Exploration, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287. Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, 200083, Shanghai, China.

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@inproceedings{Pirzkal2007OpticaltoMidInfraredOO, title={Optical-to-Mid-Infrared Observations of Ly-α Galaxies at z≈5 in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field: A Young and Low Mass Population}, author={N . Pirzkal and Surbhi Malhotra and James E. Rhoads and Chengyang Xu}, year={2007} }