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A Ly-alpha Emitter with an Extremely Large Rest-frame Equivalent Width of ~900A at z=6.5: A Candidate of Population III-dominated Galaxy?

Nobunari Kashikawa, Tohru Nagao, Jun Toshikawa, Yoshifumi Ishizaki, Eiichi Egami, Masao Hayashi, Chun Ly, Matthew A. Malkan, Yuichi Matsuda, Kazuhiro Shimasaku, Masanori Iye, Kazuaki Ota, Takatoshi Shibuya, Linhua Jiang, Yoshiaki Taniguchi, and Yasuhiro Shioya. (2012)cite arxiv:1210.4933Comment: 10 pages, 5 figures. Accepted for publication in ApJ.

Abstract

We have identified a very interesting Ly-alpha emitter, whose Ly-alpha emission line has an extremely large observed equivalent width of EW_0=436^+422_-149A, which corresponds to an extraordinarily large intrinsic rest-frame equivalent width of EW_0^int=872^+844_-298A after the average intergalactic absorption correction. The object was spectroscopically confirmed to be a real Ly-alpha emitter by its apparent asymmetric Ly-alpha line profile detected at z=6.538. The continuum emission of the object was definitely detected in our deep z'-band image; thus, its EW_0 was reliably determined. Follow-up deep near-infrared spectroscopy revealed emission lines of neither He II lambda1640 as an apparent signature of Population III, nor C IV lambda1549 as a proof of active nucleus. No detection of short-lived He II lambda1640 line is not necessarily inconsistent with the interpretation that the underlying stellar population of the object is dominated by Population III. We found that the observed extremely large EW_0 of the Ly-alpha emission and the upper limit on the EW_0 of the He II lambda1640 emission can be explained by population synthesis models favoring a very young age less than 2-4Myr and massive metal-poor Z<10^-5 or even metal-free stars. The observed large EW_0 of Ly-alpha is hardly explained by Population I/II synthesis models with Z>10^-3. However, we cannot conclusively rule out the possibility that this object is composed of a normal stellar population with a clumpy dust distribution, which could enhance the Ly-alpha EW_0, though its significance is still unclear.

Description

[1210.4933] A Ly-alpha Emitter with an Extremely Large Rest-frame Equivalent Width of ~900A at z=6.5: A Candidate of Population III-dominated Galaxy?

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