The O II Luminosity Density of the Universe
Equivalent widths of [O II] 3727 Å lines are measured in 375 faint galaxy spectra taken as part of the Caltech Faint Galaxy Redshift Survey centered on the Hubble Deep Field. The sensitivity of the survey spectra to the [O II] line is computed as a function of magnitude, color, and redshift. The luminosity function of galaxies in the [O II] line, and the integrated luminosity density of the universe in the [O II] line, are computed as a function of redshift. It is found that the luminosity density in the [O II] line was a factor of ~10 higher at redshifts z ~ 1 than it is at the present day. The simplest interpretation is that the star formation rate density of the universe has declined dramatically since z ~ 1.
Additional Information© 1998. The American Astronomical Society. Received 1998 February 18; accepted 1998 April 14. The authors are pleased to thank Kurt Adelberger and Chuck Steidel, who provided some of the imaging data used in this study, and Todd Small, Ed Groth, and the referee, David Spergel, for helpful comments on the manuscript. This research is based on observations made at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated jointly by the California Institute of Technology and the University of California; at the Palomar Observatory, which is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology; and with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, which is operated by AURA under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. Financial support was provided under NSF grant AST 95-29170, Hubble Space Telescope archival research grant AR-06337.12-94A, and Hubble Fellowship grants HF-01093.01-97A and HF-01099.01-97A. The Hubble grants are provided by STScI, which is operated by AURA under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. This research made use of the NASA ADS Abstract Service and the SM software package.
Published - Hogg_1998_ApJ_504_622.pdf
Accepted Version - 9804129