Physical properties of z ~ 4 LBGs: differences between galaxies with and without Lyα emission
INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via Frascati 33, 00040 Monteporzio, Italy
Accepted: 1 March 2007
Aims.We analysed the physical properties of Lyman Break Galaxies observed in the GOODS-S survey, in order to investigate possible differences between galaxies where the Lyα is present in emission, and those where the line is absent or in absorption.
Methods. The objects were selected from their optical color and then spectroscopically confirmed by Vanzella et al. (2005). From the public spectra we assessed the nature of the Lyα emission and divided the sample into galaxies with Lyα in emission and objects without a Lyα line (i.e. either absent or in absorption). We then used complete photometry, from U band to mid-infrared from the GOODS-MUSIC database, to study the observational properties of the galaxies, such as UV spectral slopes and optical to mid-infrared colors, and the possible differences between the two samples. Lastly, we used standard spectral fitting techniques to determine the physical properties of the galaxies, such as total stellar mass, stellar ages and so on, and again we looked at the possible differences between the two samples.
Results.Our results indicate that LBG with Lyα in emission are on average a much younger and less massive population than the LBGs without Lyα emission. Both populations are forming stars very actively and are relatively dust free, although those with line emission seem to be even less dusty on average. We briefly discuss these results in the context of recent models for the evolution of Lyman break galaxies and Lyα emitters.
Key words: galaxies: distances and redshift / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: fundamental parameters
© ESO, 2007