THE UV luminosity function of star-forming galaxies via dropout selection at redshifts z ∼ 7 and 8 from the 2012 ultra deep field campaign

Matthew A. Schenker, Brant E. Robertson, Richard S. Ellis, Yoshiaki Ono, Ross J. McLure, James S. Dunlop, Anton Koekemoer, Rebecca A.A. Bowler, Masami Ouchi, Emma Curtis-Lake, Alexander B. Rogers, Evan Schneider, Stephane Charlot, Daniel P. Stark, Steven R. Furlanetto, Michele Cirasuolo

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179 Scopus citations


We present a catalog of high-redshift star-forming galaxies selected to lie within the redshift range z ≃ 7-8 using the Ultra Deep Field 2012 (UDF12), the deepest near-infrared (near-IR) exposures yet taken with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). As a result of the increased near-IR exposure time compared to previous HST imaging in this field, we probe ∼0.65 (0.25) mag fainter in absolute UV magnitude, at z ∼ 7 (8), which increases confidence in a measurement of the faint end slope of the galaxy luminosity function. Through a 0.7 mag deeper limit in the key F105W filter that encompasses or lies just longward of the Lyman break, we also achieve a much-refined color-color selection that balances high redshift completeness and a low expected contamination fraction. We improve the number of dropout-selected UDF sources to 47 at z ∼ 7 and 27 at z ∼ 8. Incorporating brighter archival and ground-based samples, we measure the z ≃ 7 UV luminosity function to an absolute magnitude limit of M UV = -17 and find a faint end Schechter slope of . Using a similar color-color selection at z ≃ 8 that takes our newly added imaging in the F140W filter into account, and incorporating archival data from the HIPPIES and BoRG campaigns, we provide a robust estimate of the faint end slope at z ≃ 8, . We briefly discuss our results in the context of earlier work and that derived using the same UDF12 data but with an independent photometric redshift technique.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number196
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 10 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • dark ages
  • first stars
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: formation
  • reionization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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