Emission-line galaxies from the hubble space telescope probing evolution and reionization spectroscopically (PEARS) grism survey. II. the complete sample

Nor Pirzkal, Barry Rothberg, Chun Ly, Sangeeta Malhotra, James E. Rhoads, Norman A. Grogin, Tomas Dahlen, Kai G. Noeske, Gerhardt R. Meurer, Jeremy R. Walsh, Nimish P. Hathi, Seth H. Cohen, Andrea Bellini, Benne W. Holwerda, Amber N. Straughn, Matthew Mechtley, Rogier Windhorst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


We present a full analysis of the Probing Evolution And Reionization Spectroscopically (PEARS) slitess grism spectroscopic data obtained with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board Hubble Space Telescope. PEARS covers fields within both the Great Observatories Origins Deep Survey (GOODS) North and South fields, making it ideal as a random survey of galaxies, as well as the availability of a wide variety of ancillary observations complemented by the spectroscopic results. Using the PEARS data, we are able to identify star-forming galaxies (SFGs) within the redshift volume 0 < z < 1.5. Star-forming regions in the PEARS survey are pinpointed independently of the host galaxy. This method allows us to detect the presence of multiple emission-line regions (ELRs) within a single galaxy. We identified a total of 1162 Hα, [O III], and/or [O II] emission lines in the PEARS sample of 906 galaxies to a limiting flux of 10-18 erg s-1 cm -2. The ELRs have also been compared to the properties of the host galaxy, including morphology, luminosity, and mass. From this analysis, we find three key results: (1) the computed line luminosities show evidence of a flattening in the luminosity function with increasing redshift; (2) the star-forming systems show evidence of complex morphologies with star formation occurring predominantly within one effective (half-light) radius. However, the morphologies show no correlation with host stellar mass. (3) Also, the number density of SFGs with M* ≥ 109 M decreases by an order of magnitude at z ≤ 0.5 relative to the number at 0.5 < z < 0.9, supporting the argument of galaxy downsizing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 20 2013


  • catalogs
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • line: identification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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