AAS 197, January 2001
Session 77. Galaxy Evolution II
Display, Wednesday, January 10, 2001, 9:30am-7:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[77.14] Restframe Optical Properties of Lyman Break Galaxies

A. E. Shapley, C. C. Steidel (California Institute of Technology), K.L. Adelberger (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics), M. Pettini (Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge), M.E. Dickinson, M. Giavalisco (Space Telescope Science Institute)

We review recent results from near-IR studies of z ~3 galaxies that have been selected by their broadband optical colors using the Lyman Break technique.

Specifically, we discuss the use of near-IR imaging at J and Ks, in combination with previously obtained optical photometry, to untangle the degenerate effects of dust extinction and age on galaxy spectral energy distributions. We use the observed optical-to-infrared colors for a subsample of galaxies from our extensive high-redshift survey to constrain both the amount of dust and the ages of the observed stellar populations. Thus, we hope to learn about distribution of ages, unextincted star-formation rates, and formed stellar masses of these high-redshift galaxies. We also make use of the restframe UV luminosity function of Lyman Break galaxies, in combination with the distribution of restframe UV-to-optical colors (measured with the R-Ks color at z ~3), to determine the restframe optical luminosity function of Lyman Break galaxies. Finally, we describe new efforts, using near-infrared spectroscopy, to study familiar restframe optical nebular emission lines redshifted to 1.5 - 2.5 \mu m in z ~3 galaxies. The properties of these emission features should indicate the range of dynamical masses and metallicities of high redshift star-forming galaxies. We also hope to use the velocity offsets measured between restframe optical nebular lines, Lyman-\alpha, and restframe-UV interstellar metal lines, to characterize the starburst-induced outflows present in Lyman Break galaxies, how they depend on other galaxy properties, and what their impact is on the surrounding intergalactic medium.

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