The evolution of the [OII], Hβ and [OIII] emission-line luminosity functions over the last nine billions years

Johan Comparat, Guangtun Zhu, Violeta Gonzalez-Perez, Peder Norberg, Jeffrey Newman, Laurence Tresse, Johan Richard, Gustavo Yepes, Jean-Paul Kneib, Anand Raichoor, Francisco Prada, Claudia Maraston, Christophe Yèche, Timothée Delubac, Eric Jullo

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Emission line galaxies are one of the main tracers of the large-scale structure to be targeted by the next-generation dark energy surveys. To provide a better understanding of the properties and statistics of these galaxies, we have collected spectroscopic data from the VVDS and DEEP2 deep surveys and estimated the galaxy luminosity functions (LFs) of three distinct emission lines, [OII](λλ3726,3729)[OII](λλ3726,3729) (0.5 < z < 1.3), Hβ (λ4861) (0.3 < z < 0.8) and [OIII](λ5007)[OIII](λ5007) (0.3 < z < 0.8). Our measurements are based on 35 639 emission line galaxies and cover a volume of ∼107 Mpc3. We present the first measurement of the Hβ LF at these redshifts. We have also compiled LFs from the literature that were based on independent data or covered different redshift ranges, and we fit the entire set over the whole redshift range with analytic Schechter and Saunders models, assuming a natural redshift dependence of the parameters. We find that the characteristic luminosity (L*) and density (ϕ*) of all LFs increase with redshift. Using the Schechter model over the redshift ranges considered, we find that, for [OII][OII] emitters, the characteristic luminosity L*(z = 0.5) = 3.2 × 1041 erg s−1 increases by a factor of 2.7 ± 0.2 from z = 0.5 to 1.3; for Hβ emitters L*(z = 0.3) = 1.3 × 1041 erg s−1 increases by a factor of 2.0 ± 0.2 from z = 0.3 to 0.8; and for [OIII][OIII] emitters L*(z = 0.3) = 7.3 × 1041 erg s−1 increases by a factor of 3.5 ± 0.4 from z = 0.3 to 0.8.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1076-1087
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • astro-ph.GA
  • astro-ph.CO
  • catalogues
  • surveys
  • galaxies: abundances
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: general
  • cosmology: observations
  • RCUK
  • STFC
  • ST/L00075X/1


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