The vlt lbg redshift survey - III. the clustering and dynamics of lyman-break galaxies at z ~ 3

R. Bielby, M. D. Hill, T. Shanks, N. H.M. Crighton, L. Infante, C. G. Bornancini, H. Francke, P. Héraudeau, D. G. Lambas, N. Metcalfe, D. Minniti, N. Padilla, T. Theuns, P. Tummuangpak, P. Weilbacher

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54 Citations (Scopus)


We present a catalogue of 2135 galaxy redshifts from the VLT LBG Redshift Survey (VLRS), a spectroscopic survey of z ≈ 3 galaxies in wide fields centred on background quasi-stellar objects.We have used deep optical imaging to select galaxies via the Lyman-break technique. Spectroscopy of the Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) was then made using the Very Large Telescope (VLT) Visible Multi-Object Spectrograph (VIMOS) instrument, giving a mean redshift of z = 2.79. We analyse the clustering properties of the VLRS sample and also of the VLRS sample combined with the smaller area Keck-based survey of Steidel et al. From the semiprojected correlation function, wp(σ), for the VLRS and combined surveys, we find that the results are well fit with a single power-law model, with clustering scale lengths of r0 = 3.46 ± 0.41 and 3.83 ± 0.24 h-1 Mpc, respectively.We note that the corresponding combined ξ (r) slope is flatter than for local galaxies at γ = 1.5-1.6 rather than γ = 1.8. This flat slope is confirmed by the z-space correlation function, ξ (s), and in the range 10 < s < 100 h-1 Mpc the VLRS shows an ≈2.5σ excess over the ∧ cold dark matter (∧CDM) linear prediction. This excess may be consistent with recent evidence for non-Gaussianity in clustering results at z ≈ 1. We then analyse the LBG z-space distortions using the 2D correlation function, ξ (σ, π), finding for the combined sample a large-scale infall parameter of β = 0.38 ± 0.19 and a velocity dispersion of (<w2z> = 420+140-160 km s-1. Based on our measured β, we are able to determine the gravitational growth rate, finding a value of f(z = 3) = 0.99 ± 0.50 (or fσ8 = 0.26 ± 0.13), which is the highest redshift measurement of the growth rate via galaxy clustering and is consistent with ∧CDM. Finally, we constrain the mean halo mass for the LBG population, finding that the VLRS and combined sample suggest mean halo masses of log(MDM/Mo) = 11.57 ± 0.15 and 11.73 ± 0.07, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-449
Number of pages25
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2013


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Galaxies: kinematics and dynamics
  • Large-scale structure of universe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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