We present grism spectra taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) to identify 29 red sources with (i775 - z850) ≥ 0.9 in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF). Of these, 23 are found to be galaxies at redshifts between z = 5.4 and 6.7, identified by the break at 1216 Å due to intergalactic medium (IGM) absorption; two are late-type dwarf stars with red colors; and four are galaxies with colors and spectral shapes similar to dust-reddened or old galaxies at redshifts z ≈ 1 - 2. This constitutes the largest uniform, flux-limited sample of spectroscopically confirmed galaxies at such faint fluxes (z850 ≤ 27.5). Many are also among the most distant spectroscopically confirmed galaxies (at redshifts up to z = 6.7). We find a significant overdensity of galaxies at redshifts z = 5.9 ± 0.2. Nearly two-thirds of the galaxies in our sample (15/23) belong to this peak. Taking into account the selection function and the redshift sensitivity of the survey, we get a conservative overdensity of at least a factor of 2 along the line of sight. The galaxies found in this redshift peak are also localized in the plane of the sky in a nonrandom manner, occupying about half of the ACS chip. Thus the volume overdensity is a factor of 4. The star formation rate derived from detected sources in this overdense region is sufficient to reionize the local IGM.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science