AuthorElston, Richard Joseph.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractWe have conducted three surveys to try and locate distant star forming galaxies. The most general survey used deep 2μ images with optical CCD photometry to locate objects with peculiar SEDs. Using the IR data we should be able to locate rapidly star forming galaxies to z = 25. With a 3σ detection limit of 18.5 at K we have found no objects with z > 5 but we have found several blue objects at z < 4 in 16min² of sky. This suggests tha there is no extremely luminous early phase of galaxy formation. We have found several blue objects at z < 4 in 10min² of sky. Of particular interest is an object which has a flat SED from V to K but shows a strong spectral break between B and V and a weaker break at 5800Å. We suggest these may be Lyman limit and Lyman α forest absorption at z-3.8 in a galaxy forming ≈400M(⊙) year⁻¹ of stars. A large sample of galaxies (100 objects) selected to have similar properties (R – I < .5, B – R > 1) has also been found. From this sample it appears this possible high redshift star forming phase only contributes 1/10 of the metal present in disks or spheroids. We have also found 30 Lyman α emission line companions to 12 z = 3 quasars. These objects have Lyman α equivalent widths (50Å) and luminosities (V = 24) consistent with galaxies forming ≈100M(⊙) year⁻¹ of stars. Also, 2 of the quasars have 8 companions and may be in cluster environments. A final survey analyzed optical to IR SEDs of luminous blue radio galaxies at z > 1. In these objects we find SEDs indicative of star formation rates between 10 and 100M(⊙) year⁻¹ but interpretation is difficult due to the AGN component of the sources. While these data seem to suggest a significant star forming phase taking place in galaxies at z ≈ 3-4, interpreting this result is difficult since we cannot determine if we are observing disk or spheroidal populations. In the case of the quasar companions and the radio galaxies, consideration of their dense environments and current epoch morphology suggest that these may be spheroids but these galaxies may not be typical of galaxies in general.