ZEN and the search for high-redshift galaxies

Jon Willis, Frédéric Courbin, Jean Paul Kneib, Dante Minniti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We present the ZEN (z equals nine) survey: a deep, narrow J-band search for proto-galactic Ly α emission at redshifts z ∼ 9. In the first phase of the survey, dubbed ZEN1, we combine an exceptionally deep image of the Hubble Deep Field South, obtained using a narrow-band filter centred on the wavelength 1.187 μm, with existing deep, broad band images covering optical to near infrared wavelengths. Candidate z ∼ 9 Ly α-emitting galaxies display a significant narrow-band excess relative to the Js-band that are undetected at optical wavelengths. We detect no sources consistent with this criterion to the 90% point source flux limit of the NB image, FNB = 3.28 × 10-18 ergs s-1 cm-2. The survey selection function indicates that we have sampled a volume of approximately 340 h-3 Mpc3 to a Ly α emission luminosity of 1043 h-2 ergs s-1. When compared to the predicted properties of z ∼ 9 galaxies based upon no evolution of observed z ∼ 6 Ly α-emitting galaxies, the volume shortfall of the current survey, i.e., the volume required to detect this putative population, is a factor of at least 8-10. We also discuss continuing narrow J-band imaging surveys that will reduce the volume shortfall factor to the point where the no-evolution prediction from z ∼ 6 is probed in a meaningful manner.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-74
Number of pages5
JournalNew Astronomy Reviews
Issue number1-3 SPEC. ISS.
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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