Narrow-band surveys for very high redshift Lyman- emitters
Dark Cosmology Centre, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen University, Juliane Maries Vej 30, 2100 Copenhagen , Denmark e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 European Southern Observatory, Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
3 Department of Astronomy, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Casilla 306, Santiago 22, Chile
4 Institute for Computational Cosmology, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
5 Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Heidelberg, Philosophenweg 16, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 30 August 2007
Context.Many current and future surveys aim to detect the highest redshift () sources through their Lyman-α (Lyα) emission, using the narrow-band imaging method. However, to date the surveys have only yielded non-detections and upper limits as no survey has reached the necessary combination of depth and area to detect these very young star forming galaxies.
Aims.We aim to calculate model luminosity functions and mock surveys of Lyα emitters at based on a variety of approaches calibrated and tested on observational data at lower redshifts.
Methods.We calculate model luminosity functions at different redshifts based on three different approaches: a semi-analytical model based on CDM, a simple phenomenological model, and an extrapolation of observed Schechter functions at lower redshifts. The results of the first two models are compared with observations made at redshifts and , and they are then extrapolated to higher redshift.
Results.We present model luminosity functions for redshifts between and give specific number predictions for future planned or possible narrow-band surveys for Lyα emitters. We also investigate what constraints future observations will be able to place on the Lyα luminosity function at very high redshift.
Conclusions.It should be possible to observe Lyα emitters with present or near-future instruments if enough observing time is allocated. In particular, large area surveys such as ELVIS (Emission Line galaxies with VISTA Survey) will be useful in collecting a large sample. However, to get a large enough sample to constrain well the Lyα luminosity function, instruments further in the future, such as an ELT, will be necessary.
Key words: cosmology: theory / cosmology: early Universe / galaxies: high-redshift / surveys
© ESO, 2007