Spectroscopy of i′-dropout galaxies with an NB921-band depression in the Subaru Deep Field

T. Nagao, N. Kashikawa, M. A. Malkan, T. Murayama, Y. Taniguchi, K. Shimasaku, K. Motohara, M. Ajiki, Y. Shioya, K. Ohta, S. Okamura, M. Iye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


We report new spectroscopy of two star-forming galaxies with strong Lyα emission at z = 6.03 and 6.04 in the Subaru Deep Field. These two objects are originally selected as i′-dropouts (i′ -z′ > 1.5) showing an interesting photometric property, the "NB921 depression." The NB921-band (centered at 9196 Å) magnitude is significantly depressed with respect to the z′-band magnitude. The optical spectra of these two objects exhibit asymmetric emission lines at λobs ∼ 8540 and ∼8560 Å, suggesting that these objects are Lyα emitters at z ∼ 6. The rest-frame equivalent widths of the Lyα emission of the two objects are 94 and 236 Å; the latter is the Lyα emitter with the largest Lyα equivalent width at z ≳ 6 ever spectroscopically confirmed. The spectroscopically measured Lyα fluxes of these two objects are consistent with the interpretation that the NB921 depression is caused by the contribution of the strong Lyα emission to the z′-band flux. Most of the NB921-depressed i′-dropout objects are thought to be strong Lyα emitters at 6.0 ≲ z ≲ 6.5; Galactic L and T dwarfs and NB921-dropout galaxies at z > 6.6 do not dominate the NB921-depressed i′-dropout sample. Thus, the NB921 -depression method is very useful for finding high-z Lyα emitters with a large Lyα equivalent width over a large redshift range, 6.0 ≲ z ≲ 6.5. Although the broadband-selected sample at z ∼ 3 contains only a small fraction of objects with a Lyα equivalent width larger than 100 Å, the i′-dropout sample of the Subaru Deep Field contains a much larger fraction of such strong Lyα emitters. This may imply a strong evolution of the Lyα equivalent width from z ≳ 6 to z ∼ 3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-148
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Nov 20
Externally publishedYes


  • Early universe
  • Galaxies: evolution
  • Galaxies: formation
  • Galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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