Volume 523, November-December 2010
|Number of page(s)||13|
|Published online||18 November 2010|
The UV galaxy luminosity function at z = 3–5 from the CFHT Legacy Survey Deep fields⋆
Leiden Observatory, Leiden University,
P.O. Box 9513
2 Argelander-Institut für Astronomie, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
Accepted: 31 August 2010
Aims. We measure and study the evolution of the UV galaxy luminosity function (LF) at z = 3−5 from the largest high-redshift survey to date, the Deep part of the CFHT Legacy Survey. We also give accurate estimates of the SFR density at these redshifts.
Methods. We consider ~100 000 Lyman-break galaxies at z ≈ 3.1, 3.8 and 4.8 selected from very deep ugriz images of this data set and estimate their rest-frame 1600 Å luminosity function. Due to the large survey volume, cosmic variance plays a negligible role. Furthermore, we measure the bright end of the LF with unprecedented statistical accuracy. Contamination fractions from stars and low-z galaxy interlopers are estimated from simulations. From these simulations the redshift distributions of the Lyman-break galaxies in the different samples are estimated, and those redshifts are used to choose bands and calculate k-corrections so that the LFs are compared at the same rest-frame wavelength. To correct for incompleteness, we study the detection rate of simulated galaxies injected to the images as a function of magnitude and redshift. We estimate the contribution of several systematic effects in the analysis to test the robustness of our results.
Results. We find the bright end of the LF of our u-dropout sample to deviate significantly from a Schechter function. If we modify the function by a recently proposed magnification model, the fit improves. For the first time in an LBG sample, we can measure down to the density regime where magnification affects the shape of the observed LF because of the very bright and rare galaxies we are able to probe with this data set. We find an increase in the normalisation, φ∗, of the LF by a factor of 2.5 between z ≈ 5 and z ≈ 3. The faint-end slope of the LF does not evolve significantly between z ≈ 5 and z ≈ 3. We do not find a significant evolution of the characteristic magnitude in the studied redshift interval, possibly because of insufficient knowledge of the source redshift distribution. The SFR density is found to increase by a factor of ~2 from z ≈ 5 to z ≈ 4. The evolution from z ≈ 4 to z ≈ 3 is less eminent.
Key words: galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function / galaxies: evolution
Based on observations obtained with MegaPrime/MegaCam, a joint project of CFHT and CEA/DAPNIA, at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which is operated by the National Research Council (NRC) of Canada, the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France, and the University of Hawaii. This work is based in part on data products produced at TERAPIX and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre as part of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey, a collaborative project of NRC and CNRS.
© ESO, 2010
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