University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

MN Institute for Astrophysics Colloquium

Friday, September 30th 2016
Speaker: Caryl Gronwall, Penn State University
Subject: HETDEX and Star-Forming Galaxies of the z ~ 2 Universe

Next spring, the Hobby Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment will begin obtaining redshifts for roughly a million Ly-alpha emitting galaxies (LAEs) between 1.9 < z < 3.5. While the main purpose of the project is to study the evolution of Dark Energy, the project will provide an incredible data base for studies of galaxy evolution. In preparation for this, we have been investigating the physical and chemical properties of emission-line galaxies in the z ~ 2 universe, using LAEs discovered from the ground and samples of [O III]-emitting objects identified from space. We show that LAEs are not “low mass, dust-poor galaxies caught in the act of formation”, but instead span the entire range of stellar masses, from at least 7.5 < log M/Msun < 10.5. We then use our galaxy samples to explore issues such as the (non)-Fundamental Metallicity Relation, the systematics of star-formation rate indicators, the behavior of dust attenuation laws versus stellar mass, and the question of what makes an LAE and LAE.

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