EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 422, Number 1, July IV 2004
Page(s) L13 - L17
Section Letters
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20040189

A&A 422, L13-L17 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20040189


A Lyman $\alpha$ emitter at z = 6.5 found with slitless spectroscopy

J. D. Kurk1, A. Cimatti1, S. di Serego Alighieri1, J. Vernet1, E. Daddi2, A. Ferrara1 and B. Ciardi3

1  INAF, Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125, Firenze, Italy
2  European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 2, 85748, Garching bei München, Germany
3  Max-Planck-Institut für Astrophysik, Karl-Schwarzschild-Strasse 1, 85748, Garching bei München, Germany

(Received 17 May 2004 / Accepted 2 June 2004)

We report the discovery of a Lyman $\alpha$ emitting galaxy at z = 6.518. The single line was found in the 43 arcmin 2 VLT/FORS field by slitless spectroscopy limited to the atmospheric window at $\lambda \sim 9100$ Å (sampling Ly $\alpha$ at 6.4 < z < 6.6). Its counterpart is undetected in a deep I band image and the line has an asymmetric appearance in a deeper follow-up spectrum. There are no plausible line identifications except for Ly $\alpha$ with a flux of  $1.9\times 10^{-17}$ and rest frame equivalent width  > 80 Å. The lower limit to the star formation rate density at  z = 6.5 derived from our complete sample is  $5\times10^{-4}~M_\odot$ yr -1 Mpc -3, consistent with measurements in the Subaru Deep Field and Hubble Ultra Deep Field but approximately ten times higher than in the Large Area Lyman Alpha survey. This Ly $\alpha$ emitter is among the very small sample of highest redshift galaxies known.

Key words: galaxies: high-redshift -- galaxies: formation -- galaxies: starburst

Offprint request: J. D. Kurk, kurk@arcetri.astro.it

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