Deep Keck u-Band Imaging of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field: A Catalog of z ~ 3 Lyman Break Galaxies

We present a sample of 407 z ~ 3 Lyman break galaxies (LBGs) to a limiting isophotal u-band magnitude of 27.6 mag in the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The LBGs are selected using a combination of photometric redshifts and the u-band drop-out technique enabled by the introduction of an extremely deep u-band image obtained with the Keck I telescope and the blue channel of the Low Resolution Imaging Spectrometer. The Keck u-band image, totaling 9 hr of integration time, has a 1σ depth of 30.7 mag arcsec-2, making it one of the most sensitive u-band images ever obtained. The u-band image also substantially improves the accuracy of photometric redshift measurements of ~50% of the z ~ 3 LBGs, significantly reducing the traditional degeneracy of colors between z ~ 3 and z ~ 0.2 galaxies. This sample provides the most sensitive, high-resolution multi-filter imaging of reliably identified z ~ 3 LBGs for morphological studies of galaxy formation and evolution and the star formation efficiency of gas at high redshift.

Graduate Ph.D. work from at the University of California, San Diego with Prof. Arthur Wolfe.

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