CANDELSz7: A large spectroscopic survey of CANDELS galaxies in the reionization epoch

L. Pentericci, E. Vanzella, M. Castellano, A. Fontana, S. De Barros, A. Grazian, F. Marchi, M. Bradac, C. J. Conselice, S. Cristiani, M. Dickinson, S. L. Finkelstein, E. Giallongo, L. Guaita, A. M. Koekemoer, R. Maiolino, P. Santini, V. Tilvi

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69 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results of CANDELSz7, a European Southern Observatory (ESO) Large Program aimed at spectroscopically confirming a homogeneous sample of z ' 6 and z ' 7 star forming galaxies. The candidates were selected in the GOODS-South, UDS, and COSMOS fields using the ocial CANDELS catalogs based on H160-band detections. Standard color criteria, which were tailored depending on the ancillary multi-wavelength data available for each field, were applied to select more than 160 candidate galaxies at z ' 6 and z ' 7. Deep, medium-resolution FORS2 spectroscopic observations were then conducted with integration times ranging from 12 to 20 h to reach a Lyα flux limit of approximately 1 3 10 18 erg s 1 cm 2 at 3.We could determine a spectroscopic redshift for about 40% of the galaxies, mainly through the detection of a single emission line that we interpret as Lyα emission, or for some of the brightest objects (H160 25:5) from the presence of faint continuum and a sharp drop that we interpret as a Lyα break. In this paper we present the redshifts and main properties of 65 newly confirmed high-redshift galaxies. Adding previous proprietary and archival data we assemble a sample of '260 galaxies that we use to explore the evolution of the Lyα fraction in Lyman break galaxies and the change in the shape of the emission line between z 6 and z 7.We also discuss the accuracy of the CANDELS photometric redshifts in this redshift range.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA147
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Dark ages
  • First stars
  • Galaxies: distances and redshifts
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Reionization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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