Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Centre, 106 91
2 Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP), An der Sternware 16, 14482 Potsdam, Germany
3 University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
4 ETH Zürich, Department of Physics, Wolfgang-Pauli-Strasse 27, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
5 Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (IRAP), Université de Toulouse, CNRS, UP, CNES, 14 Avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
6 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
7 Univ. Lyon, Univ. Lyon1, ENS de Lyon, CNRS, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon UMR5574, 69230 Saint-Genis-Laval, France
Accepted: 2 November 2018
We investigate the Lyman α emitter (LAE) luminosity function (LF) within the redshift range 2.9 ≤ z ≤ 6 from the first instalment of the blind integral field spectroscopic MUSE-Wide survey. This initial part of the survey probes a region of 22.2 arcmin2 in the CANDELS/GOODS-S field (24 MUSE pointings with 1h integrations). The dataset provided us with 237 LAEs from which we construct the LAE LF in the luminosity range 42.2 ≤ log LLyα[erg s−1] ≤ 43.5 within a volume of 2.3 × 105 Mpc3. For the LF construction we utilise three different non-parametric estimators: the classical 1/Vmax method, the C− method, and an improved binned estimator for the differential LF. All three methods deliver consistent results, with the cumulative LAE LF being Φ(log L Lyα[erg s−1] = 43.5) ≃ 3 × 10−6 Mpc−3 and Φ(log L Lyα[erg s−1] = 42.2) ≃ 2 × 10−3 Mpc−3 towards the bright and faint end of our survey, respectively. By employing a non-parametric statistical test, and by comparing the full sample to subsamples in redshift bins, we find no supporting evidence for an evolving LAE LF over the probed redshift and luminosity range. Using a parametric maximum-likelihood technique we determine the best-fitting Schechter function parameters α = 1.84+04.2−0.41 and L∗[erg s−0.1] = 42.2−0.16+0.22 with the corresponding normalisation logϕ*[Mpc−3]= − 2.71. However, the dynamic range in Lyα luminosities probed by MUSE-Wide leads to a strong degeneracy between α and L*. Moreover, we find that a power-law parameterisation of the LF appears to be less consistent with the data compared to the Schechter function, even so when not excluding the X-Ray identified AGN from the sample. When correcting for completeness in the LAE LF determinations, we take into account that LAEs exhibit diffuse extended low surface brightness halos. We compare the resulting LF to one obtained by applying a correction assuming compact point-like emission. We find that the standard correction underestimates the LAE LF at the faint end of our survey by a factor of 2.5. Contrasting our results to the literature we find that at 42.2 ≤ log LLyα[erg s−1] ≲ 42.5 previous LAE LF determinations from narrow-band surveys appear to be affected by a similar bias.
Key words: cosmology: observations / galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: luminosity function / mass function / techniques: imaging spectroscopy
Based on observations collected at the European Organisation for Astronomical Research in the Southern Hemisphere under ESO programme 094.A-025.
The Lyman α emitter catalogue, the Lyman α emitter selection functions, as well as the likelihood function and its normalisation for a Schechter parametrisation are only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/621/A107
© ESO 2019