Extreme emission-line galaxies in CANDELS: Broadband-selected, starbursting dwarf galaxies at z > 1

A. Van Der Wel, A. N. Straughn, H. W. Rix, S. L. Finkelstein, A. M. Koekemoer, B. J. Weiner, S. Wuyts, E. F. Bell, S. M. Faber, J. R. Trump, D. C. Koo, H. C. Ferguson, C. Scarlata, N. P. Hathi, J. S. Dunlop, J. A. Newman, M. Dickinson, K. Jahnke, B. W. Salmon, D. F. De MelloD. D. Kocevski, K. Lai, N. A. Grogin, S. A. Rodney, Yicheng Guo, E. J. McGrath, K. S. Lee, G. Barro, K. H. Huang, A. G. Riess, M. L.N. Ashby, S. P. Willner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


We identify an abundant population of extreme emission-line galaxies (EELGs) at redshift z ∼ 1.7 in the Cosmic Assembly Near-IR Deep Extragalactic Legacy Survey imaging from Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Camera 3 (HST/WFC3). Sixty-nine EELG candidates are selected by the large contribution of exceptionally bright emission lines to their near-infrared broadband magnitudes. Supported by spectroscopic confirmation of strong [O III] emission lines - with rest-frame equivalent widths ∼1000 Å- in the four candidates that have HST/WFC3 grism observations, we conclude that these objects are galaxies with ∼108 M in stellar mass, undergoing an enormous starburst phase with M*/M *;̇of only ∼15Myr. These bursts may cause outflows that are strong enough to produce cored dark matter profiles in low-mass galaxies. The individual star formation rates and the comoving number density (3.7 × 10-4 Mpc-3) can produce in ∼4Gyr much of the stellar mass density that is presently contained in 10 8-109 M dwarf galaxies. Therefore, our observations provide a strong indication that many or even most of the stars in present-day dwarf galaxies formed in strong, short-lived bursts, mostly at z > 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number111
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011


  • galaxies: dwarf
  • galaxies: evolution
  • galaxies: formation
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: starburst

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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  • Extreme emission-line galaxies in CANDELS

    Van Der Wel, D. W. A. (Creator), Straughn, A. N. (Creator), Rix, H. (Creator), Finkelstein, S. L. (Creator), Koekemoer, A. M. (Creator), Weiner, B. J. (Creator), Wuyts, S. (Creator), Bell, E. F. (Creator), Faber, S. M. (Creator), Trump, J. R. (Creator), Koo, D. C. (Creator), Ferguson, H. C. (Creator), Scarlata, C. (Creator), Hathi, N. P. (Creator), Dunlop, J. S. (Creator), Newman, J. A. (Creator), Dickinson, M. (Creator), Jahnke, K. (Creator), Salmon, B. W. (Creator), De Mello, M. D. F. (Creator), Kocevski, D. D. (Creator), Lai, K. (Creator), Grogin, N. A. (Creator), Rodney, S. A. (Creator), Guo, Y. (Creator), McGrath, E. J. (Creator), Lee, K. (Creator), Barro, G. (Creator), Huang, K. (Creator), Riess, A. G. (Creator), Ashby, M. L. N. (Contributor), Willner, S. P. (Creator), Finkelstein, S. L. (Creator), Weiner, B. J. (Creator), Scarlata, C. (Creator), Dunlop, J. S. (Creator), Newman, J. A. (Creator), Dickinson, M. (Creator) & Ashby, M. L. N. (Contributor), Centre de Donnees Strasbourg (CDS), 2013


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