A Caltech Library Service

A new multifield determination of the galaxy luminosity function at z = 7–9 incorporating the 2012 Hubble Ultra-Deep Field imaging

McLure, R. J. and Dunlop, J. S. and Bowler, R. A. A. and Curtis-Lake, E. and Schenker, M. and Ellis, R. S. and Robertson, B. E. and Koekemoer, A. M. and Rogers, A. B. and Ono, Y. and Ouchi, M. and Charlot, S. and Wild, V. and Stark, D. P. and Furlanetto, S. R. and Cirasuolo, M. and Targettt, T. A. (2013) A new multifield determination of the galaxy luminosity function at z = 7–9 incorporating the 2012 Hubble Ultra-Deep Field imaging. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 432 (4). pp. 2696-2716. ISSN 0035-8711.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

PDF - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


We present a new determination of the ultraviolet (UV) galaxy luminosity function (LF) at redshift z ≃ 7 and 8, and a first estimate at z ≃ 9. An accurate determination of the form and evolution of the galaxy LF during this era is of key importance for improving our knowledge of the earliest phases of galaxy evolution and the process of cosmic reionization. Our analysis exploits to the full the new, deepest Wide Field Camera 3/infrared imaging from our Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Ultra-Deep Field 2012 (UDF12) campaign, with dynamic range provided by including a new and consistent analysis of all appropriate, shallower/wider area HST survey data. Our new measurement of the evolving LF at z ≃ 7 to 8 is based on a final catalogue of ≃600 galaxies, and involves a step-wise maximum-likelihood determination based on the photometric redshift probability distribution for each object; this approach makes full use of the 11-band imaging now available in the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF), including the new UDF12 F140W data, and the latest Spitzer IRAC imaging. The final result is a determination of the z ≃ 7 LF extending down to UV absolute magnitudes M_1500 = −16.75 (AB mag) and the z ≃ 8 LF down to M_1500 = −17.00. Fitting a Schechter function, we find M*_1500 = −19.90^(+0.23)_(−0.28), log ϕ* = −2.96^(+0.18)_(−0.23) and a faint-end slope α = −1.90^(+0.14)_(−0.15) at z ≃ 7, and M*_1500 = −20.12^(+0.37)_(−0.48), log ϕ* = −3.35^(+0.28)_(−0.47) and α = −2.02^(+0.22)_(-0.23) at z ≃ 8. These results strengthen previous suggestions that the evolution at z > 7 appears more akin to ‘density evolution’ than the apparent ‘luminosity evolution’ seen at z ≃ 5 − 7. We also provide the first meaningful information on the LF at z ≃ 9, explore alternative extrapolations to higher redshifts, and consider the implications for the early evolution of UV luminosity density. Finally, we provide catalogues (including derived z_phot, M_1500 and photometry) for the most robust z ∼ 6.5-11.9 galaxies used in this analysis. We briefly discuss our results in the context of earlier work and the results derived from an independent analysis of the UDF12 data based on colour–colour selection.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Ellis, R. S.0000-0001-7782-7071
Robertson, B. E.0000-0002-4271-0364
Koekemoer, A. M.0000-0002-6610-2048
Ouchi, M.0000-0002-1049-6658
Furlanetto, S. R.0000-0002-0658-1243
Additional Information:© 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2013 April 10; Received 2013 April 5; In original form 2012 December 21. First published online: May 10, 2013. RJM acknowledges the support of the European Research Council via the award of a Consolidator Grant, and the support of the Leverhulme Trust via the award of a Philip Leverhulme research prize. JSD, RAAB, TAT and VW acknowledge the support of the European Research Council via the award of an Advanced Grant to JSD. JSD also acknowledges the support of the Royal Society via a Wolfson Research Merit award. ABR and EFCL acknowledge the support of the UK Science & Technology Facilities Council. The US authors acknowledge financial support from the Space Telescope Science Institute under award HST-GO-12498.01-A. SRF is partially supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. SC acknowledges the support of the European Commission through the Marie Curie Initial Training Network ELIXIR. This work is based in part on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc, under NASA contract NAS5-26555. This work is also based in part on observations made with the Spitzer Space Telescope, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under NASA contract 1407.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)UNSPECIFIED
Leverhulme TrustUNSPECIFIED
Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit AwardUNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
David and Lucile Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Marie Curie FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:galaxies: evolution – galaxies: formation – galaxies: high-redshift
Issue or Number:4
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130806-102834890
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:39781
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:06 Aug 2013 20:12
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:19

Repository Staff Only: item control page