Stellar populations of lyman break galaxies at Z ≃ 1-3 in the hst/wfc3 early release science observations

R. E. Ryan, N. P. Hathi, S. H. Cohen, R. E. Ryan, S. L. Finkelstein, P. J. McCarthy, Rogier Windhorst, H. Yan, A. M. Koekemoer, M. J. Rutkowski, R. W. O'Connell, A. N. Straughn, B. Balick, H. E. Bond, D. Calzetti, M. J. Disney, M. A. Dopita, Jay A. Frogel, D. N B Hall, J. A. HoltzmanR. A. Kimble, F. Paresce, A. Saha, J. I. Silk, J. T. Trauger, A. R. Walker, B. C. Whitmore, E. T. Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We analyze the spectral energy distributions (SEDs) of Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) at z ≃ 1-3 selected using the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) UVIS channel filters. These HST/WFC3 observations cover about 50 arcmin2 in the GOODS-South field as a part of the WFC3 Early Release Science program. These LBGs at z ≃ 1-3 are selected using dropout selection criteria similar to high-redshift LBGs. The deep multi-band photometry in this field is used to identify best-fit SED models, from which we infer the following results: (1) the photometric redshift estimate of these dropout-selected LBGs is accurate to within few percent; (2) the UV spectral slope β is redder than at high redshift (z > 3), where LBGs are less dusty; (3) on average, LBGs at z ≃ 1-3 are massive, dustier, and more highly star forming, compared to LBGs at higher redshifts with similar luminosities (0.1L* ≲ L ≲ 2.5L*), though their median values are similar within 1σ uncertainties. This could imply that identical dropout selection technique, at all redshifts, finds physically similar galaxies; and (4) the stellar masses of these LBGs are directly proportional to their UV luminosities with a logarithmic slope of ∼0.46, and star formation rates are proportional to their stellar masses with a logarithmic slope of ∼0.90. These relations hold true - within luminosities probed in this study - for LBGs from z ≃ 1.5 to 5. The star-forming galaxies selected using other color-based techniques show similar correlations at z ≃ 2, but to avoid any selection biases, and for direct comparison with LBGs at z > 3, a true Lyman break selection at z ≃ 2 is essential. The future HST UV surveys, both wider and deeper, covering a large luminosity range are important to better understand LBG properties and their evolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number88
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 10 2013


  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: fundamental parameters
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • ultraviolet: galaxies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Stellar populations of lyman break galaxies at Z ≃ 1-3 in the hst/wfc3 early release science observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this