The HiZELS/UKIRT Large Survey for Bright Lyα Emitters at z ∼ 9

  • David Sobral
  • Philip Best
  • Jim Geach
  • Ian Smail
  • Jaron Kurk
  • Michele Cirasuolo
  • Mark Casali
  • Rob Ivison
  • Kristen Coppin
  • Gavin Dalton
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings book series (ASSSP, volume 37)


We present the largest area survey to date (1.4 deg2) for Lyα emitters (LAEs) at z ∼ 9, as part of the Hi-z Emission Line Survey (HiZELS). The survey, which primarily targets Hα emitters at z > 3, uses the Wide Field Camera on the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope and a custom narrowband filter in the J band to reach a Lyα luminosity limit of ∼1043.8 erg s−1 over a co-moving volume of 1.12 × 106 Mpc3 at z = 8.96 ± 0.06. Two candidates were found out of 1,517 line emitters, but those were rejected as LAEs after follow-up observations. This improves the limit on the space density of bright Lyα emitters by three orders of magnitude and is consistent with suppression of the bright end of the Lyα luminosity function beyond z ∼ 6. Combined with upper limits from smaller but deeper surveys, this rules out some of the most extreme models for high-redshift Lyα emitters. The potential contamination of narrowband Lyα surveys at z < 7 by Galactic brown dwarf stars is also examined, leading to the conclusion that such contamination may well be significant for searches at 7.7 > z > 8.0, 9.1 > z > 9.5 and 11.7 > z > 12.2.


Luminosity Function Dwarf Star Wide Field Camera Narrowband Filter Infrared Telescope 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Sobral
    • 1
  • Philip Best
    • 1
  • Jim Geach
    • 2
  • Ian Smail
    • 2
  • Jaron Kurk
    • 3
  • Michele Cirasuolo
    • 4
  • Mark Casali
    • 6
  • Rob Ivison
    • 5
  • Kristen Coppin
    • 2
  • Gavin Dalton
    • 7
    • 8
  1. 1.IfA, Edinburgh UniversityEdinburghUK
  2. 2.ICC, Durham UniversityDurhamUK
  3. 3.Max-Planck-Institut für AstrophysikGarchingGermany
  4. 4.UK Astronomy Technology Centre, Royal Observatory of EdinburghGarchingGermany
  5. 5.SUPA, Institute for Astronomy, Royal Observatory of EdinburghGarchingGermany
  6. 6.European Southern ObservatoryGarching bei MünchenGermany
  7. 7.Department of PhysicsUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  8. 8.Space Science and Technology, Rutherford Appleton LaboratoryDidcotUK

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