Color-selected galaxies AT z ≈ 6 in the great observatories origins deep survey
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We report early results on galaxies at z ∼ 6 selected from Hubble Space Telescope imaging for the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey. Spectroscopy of one object with the Advanced Camera for Surveys grism and from the Keck and Very Large Telescope observatories shows a strong continuum break and asymmetric line emission, identified as Lyα at z = 5.83. We find only five spatially extended candidates with signal-to-noise ratios greater than 10, two of which have spectroscopic confirmation. This is much fewer than would be expected if galaxies at z = 6 had the same luminosity function as those at z = 3. There are many fainter candidates, but we expect substantial contamination from foreground interlopers and spurious detections. Our best estimates favor a z = 6 galaxy population with fainter luminosities, higher space density, and similar comoving ultraviolet emissivity to that at z = 3, but this depends critically on counts at fluxes fainter than those reliably probed by the current data.
author list (cited authors)
Dickinson, M., Stern, D., Giavalisco, M., Ferguson, H. C., Tsvetanov, Z., Chornock, R., ... Vanzella, E.