Star formation density and Hα luminosity function of an emission-line-selected galaxy sample at z ∼ 0.24

Eduard Westra*, D. Heath Jones

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We use narrow-band imaging (full width at half-maximum = 70 Å) to select a sample of emission-line galaxies between 0.20 ≲ z ≲ 1.22 in two fields covering 0.5 deg2. We use spectroscopic follow-up to select a subsample of Hα-emitting galaxies at z ∼ 0.24 and determine the Hα luminosity function and star formation density at z ∼ 0.24 for both of our fields. Corrections are made for imaging and spectroscopic incompleteness, extinction and interloper contamination on the basis of the spectroscopic data. When compared to each other, we find the field samples differ by Δα = 0.2 in faint-end slope and Δlog [L* (erg s-1)] = 0.2 in luminosity. In the context of other recent surveys, our sample has comparable faint-end slope, but a fainter L* turnover. We conclude that systematic uncertainties and differences in selection criteria remain the dominant sources of uncertainty between Hα luminosity functions at this redshift. We also investigate average star formation rates as a function of local environment and find typical values consistent with the field densities that we probe, in agreement with previous results. However, we find tentative evidence for an increase in star formation rate with respect to the local density of star-forming galaxies, consistent with the scenario that galaxy-galaxy interactions are triggers for bursts of star formation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-354
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxies: luminosity function, mass function
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Surveys


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