Candidates of z ≃ 5.5-7 galaxies in the hubble space telescope ultra deep field

Haojing Yan, Rogier Windhorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

116 Scopus citations


We report results from our z ≃ 5.5-7 galaxy search in the Hubble Space Telescope Ultra Deep Field (UDF). Using the 400 orbit of Advanced Camera for Surveys data, we found 108 plausible 5.5 ≤ z ≤ 6.5 (or z ≃ 6 for short) candidates to mAB(z) = 30.0 mag. The contamination to the sample, due to either image artifacts or known types of astronomical objects, is likely negligible. The inferred surface densities of z ≃ 6 galaxies are consistent with our earlier predictions from mAB(z850) = 26.5 to 28.5 mag. After correcting for detection incompleteness, the counts of z ≃ 6 candidates to mAB(z850) = 29.2 mag suggest that the faint-end slope of the galaxy luminosity function (LF) at this redshift is likely between ̧ = -1.8 and -1.9, which is sufficient to account for the entire Lyman photon budget necessary to complete the reionization of the universe at z ≃ 6. We also searched for z ≃ 6.5-7 candidates using the UDF Near-Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer data and have found four candidates to a magnitude of J110 = 27.2. However, the infrared colors of three candidates cannot be easily explained by galaxies in this redshift range. We tentatively derive an upper limit to the cumulative surface density of galaxies at z ≃ 7 of 0.36 arcmin -2 to a magnitude of J110 = 26.6, which suggests a noticeable drop in the LF amplitude from z ≃ 6 to z ≃ 7.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L93-L96
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2 II
StatePublished - Sep 10 2004


  • Cosmology: observations
  • Early universe
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: high-redshift
  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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