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HiZELS: The high redshift emission line survey with UKIRT

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  • Philip Best
  • Ian Smail
  • David Sobral
  • Jim Geach
  • Tim Garn
  • Rob Ivison
  • Jaron Kurk
  • Gavin Dalton
  • Michele Cirasuolo
  • Mark Casali
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Abstract

We report on HiZELS, the High-z Emission Line Survey, our successful panoramic narrow-band campaign survey using WFCAM on UKIRT to detect and study emission line galaxies at z ∼ 1–9. HiZELS employs the H2(S1) narrow-band filter together with custom-made narrow-band filters in the J and H-bands, with the primary aim of delivering large identically-selected samples of Hα emitting galaxies at redshifts of 0.84, 1.47 and 2.23. Comparisons between the luminosity function, the host galaxy properties, the clustering, and the variation with environment of these Hα-selected samples are yielding unique constraints on the nature and evolution of star-forming galaxies, across the peak epoch of star formation activity in the Universe. We provide a summary of the project status, and detail the main scientific results obtained so far: the measurement of the evolution of the cosmic star formation rate density out to z < 2 using a single star formation indicator, determination of the morphologies, environments and dust content of the star-forming galaxies, and a detailed investigation of the evolution of their clustering properties. We also summarise the on-going work and future goals of the project.