A Lyman break galaxy in the epoch of reionization from Hubble Space Telescope grism spectroscopy

James E. Rhoads, Sangeeta Malhotra, Daniel Stern, Mark Dickinson, Norbert Pirzkal, Hyron Spinrad, Naveen Reddy, Nimish Hathi, Norman Grogin, Anton Koekemoer, Michael A. Peth, Seth Cohen, Zhenya Zheng, Tamas Budavari, Ignacio Ferreras, Jonathan P. Gardner, Caryl Gronwall, Zoltan Haiman, Martin Kümmel, Gerhardt MeurerLeonidas Moustakas, Nino Panagia, Anna Pasquali, Kailash Sahu, Sperello Di Serego Alighieri, Rachel Somerville, Amber Straughn, Jeremy Walsh, Rogier Windhorst, Chun Xu, Haojing Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


We present observations of a luminous galaxy at z = 6.573 - the end of the reionization epoch - which has been spectroscopically confirmed twice. The first spectroscopic confirmation comes from slitless Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys grism spectra from the PEARS survey (Probing Evolution And Reionization Spectroscopically), which show a dramatic continuum break in the spectrum at rest frame 1216 Å. The second confirmation is done with Keck + DEIMOS. The continuum is not clearly detected with ground-based spectra, but high wavelength resolution enables the Lyα emission line profile to be determined. We compare the line profile to composite line profiles at z = 4.5. The Lyα line profile shows no signature of a damping wing attenuation, confirming that the intergalactic gas is ionized at z = 6.57. Spectra of Lyman breaks at yet higher redshifts will be possible using comparably deep observations with IR-sensitive grisms, even at redshifts where Lyα is too attenuated by the neutral intergalactic medium to be detectable using traditional spectroscopy from the ground.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number32
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 10 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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