Cosmic star-formation activity at z = 2.2 probed by Hα emission-line galaxies

Ken Ichi Tadaki, Tadayuki Kodama, Yusei Koyama, Masao Hayashi, Ichi Tanaka, Chihiro Tokoku

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35 Citations (Scopus)


We present a pilot narrow-band survey of Hα emitters at z = 2.2 in the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey North (GOODS-N) field with MOIRCS instrument on the Subaru Telescope. The survey reached a 3σ limiting magnitude of 23.6 (NB209), which corresponds to a 3σ limiting line flux of 2.5 × 10-17 erg s-1 cm-2 over a 56arcmin2 contiguous area (excluding a shallower area). From this survey, we have identified eleven Hα emitters and one AGN at z = 2.2 on the basis of narrow-band excesses and photometric redshifts. We obtained spectra for seven out of the new objects, including one AGN; also, an emission line above 3σ was detected from all of them. We estimated star-formation rates (SFR) and stellar masses (Mstar) for individual galaxies. The average SFR and Mstar are 27.8M yr-1 and 4.0 × 1010M, respectively. Their specific star-formation rates negatively correlate with their stellar masses. Fitting to a Schechter function yields the Hα luminosity function with logL = 42.82, logφ = -2.78, and α = -1.37. The average star-formation rate density in the survey volume is estimated to be 0.31Myr-1 Mpc-3 according to the Kennicutt relation between the Hα luminosity and the star-formation rate. We compared our Hα emitters at z = 2.2 in GOODS-N with narrow-band line emitters in other fields and clusters to see their time evolution and environmental dependence. We found that the star-formation activity is rapidly reduced from z = 2.5 to z = 0.8 in the cluster environment, while it only moderately changed in the field environment. This result suggests that the time scale of galaxy formation differs among different environments, and the star-forming activities in high density regions eventually overtake those in lower-density regions as a consequence of "galaxy-formation bias" at high redshifts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S437-S446
JournalPublication of the Astronomical Society of Japan
Issue numberSPEC. ISSUE 2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 25


  • Cosmology: early universe
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation


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