Volume 634, February 2020
|Number of page(s)||26|
|Published online||13 February 2020|
UV and Lyα luminosity functions of galaxies and star formation rate density at the end of HI reionization from the VIMOS UltraDeep Survey (VUDS)⋆
Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LAM (Laboratoire d’Astrophysique de Marseille) UMR 7326, 13388 Marseille, France
2 University of Padova, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Vicolo Osservatorio 3, 35122 Padova, Italy
3 INAF – Osservatorio di Astrofisica e Scienza dello Spazio di Bologna, Via Gobetti 93/3, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4 Department of Physics, University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA
5 European Southern Observatory, Avenida Alonso de Córdova 3107, Vitacura, 19001 Casilla, Santiago de Chile, Chile
6 INAF–IASF Milano, Via Corti 12, 20133 Milano, Italy
7 INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Monteporzio, Italy
8 Instituto de Investigación Multidisciplinar en Ciencia y Tecnología, Universidad de La Serena, Raúl Bitrán 1305, La Serena, Chile
9 Departamento de Física y Astronomía, Universidad de La Serena, Norte, Av. Juan Cisternas 1200, La Serena, Chile
10 Universitá di Bologna, Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Via Gobetti 93/2, 40129 Bologna, Italy
11 INAF – Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
12 Astronomy Department, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003, USA
13 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
14 ESA/ESTEC SCI-S, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk, The Netherlands
15 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
16 Observatoire de Genève, Université de Genève, 51 Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
17 Univ Lyon, Univ Lyon1, ENS de Lyon, CNRS, Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon UMR5574, 69230 Saint-Genis-Laval, France
Accepted: 5 December 2019
Context. The star formation rate density (SFRD) evolution presents an area of great interest in the studies of galaxy evolution and reionization. The current constraints of SFRD at z > 5 are based on the rest-frame UV luminosity functions with the data from photometric surveys. The VIMOS UltraDeep Survey (VUDS) was designed to observe galaxies at redshifts up to ∼6 and opened a window for measuring SFRD at z > 5 from a spectroscopic sample with a well-controlled selection function.
Aims. We establish a robust statistical description of the star-forming galaxy population at the end of cosmic HI reionization (5.0 ≤ z ≤ 6.6) from a large sample of 49 galaxies with spectroscopically confirmed redshifts. We determine the rest-frame UV and Lyα luminosity functions and use them to calculate SFRD at the median redshift of our sample z = 5.6.
Methods. We selected a sample of galaxies at 5.0 ≤ zspec ≤ 6.6 from the VUDS. We cleaned our sample from low redshift interlopers using ancillary photometric data. We identified galaxies with Lyα either in absorption or in emission, at variance with most spectroscopic samples in the literature where Lyα emitters (LAE) dominate. We determined luminosity functions using the 1/Vmax method.
Results. The galaxies in this redshift range exhibit a large range in their properties. A fraction of our sample shows strong Lyα emission, while another fraction shows Lyα in absorption. UV-continuum slopes vary with luminosity, with a large dispersion. We find that star-forming galaxies at these redshifts are distributed along the main sequence in the stellar mass vs. SFR plane, described with a slope α = 0.85 ± 0.05. We report a flat evolution of the specific SFR compared to lower redshift measurements. We find that the UV luminosity function is best reproduced by a double power law, while a fit with a Schechter function is only marginally inferior. The Lyα luminosity function is best fitted with a Schechter function. We derive a logSFRDUV(M⊙ yr−1 Mpc−3) = −1.45+0.06−0.08 and logSFRDLyα(M⊙ yr−1 Mpc−3) = −1.40+0.07−0.08. The SFRD derived from the Lyα luminosity function is in excellent agreement with the UV-derived SFRD after correcting for IGM absorption.
Conclusions. Our new SFRD measurements at a mean redshift of z = 5.6 are ∼0.2 dex above the mean SFRD reported in Madau & Dickinson (2014, ARA&A, 52, 415), but in excellent agreement with results from Bouwens et al. (2015a, ApJ, 803, 34). These measurements confirm the steep decline of the SFRD at z > 2. The bright end of the Lyα luminosity function has a high number density, indicating a significant star formation activity concentrated in the brightest LAE at these redshifts. LAE with equivalent width EW > 25 Å contribute to about 75% of the total UV-derived SFRD. While our analysis favors low dust content in 5.0 < z < 6.6, uncertainties on the dust extinction correction and associated degeneracy in spectral fitting will remain an issue, when estimating the total SFRD until future surveys extending spectroscopy to the NIR rest-frame spectral domain, such as with JWST.
Key words: galaxies: high-redshift / galaxies: evolution / galaxies: formation / galaxies: star formation / dark ages, reionization, first stars / galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
© Y. Khusanova et al. 2020
Open Access article, published by EDP Sciences, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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