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, 408 (6812), 562-4

Unusual Spectral Energy Distribution of a Galaxy Previously Reported to Be at Redshift 6.68

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Unusual Spectral Energy Distribution of a Galaxy Previously Reported to Be at Redshift 6.68

H W Chen et al. Nature.

Abstract

Observations of distant galaxies are important both for understanding how galaxies form and for probing the physical conditions of the Universe at early times. It is, however, very difficult to identify galaxies at redshifts z > 5, because they are so faint and have few spectral characteristics. We previously reported the probable identification of a galaxy at z = 6.68, based on one line and an apparent break in the spectrum just shortwards of that, which we interpreted as Lyman alpha emission and the Lyman alpha break, where photons with shorter wavelengths are absorbed by the intervening neutral hydrogen gas. Here we present optical photometry that shows moderate detections of light in the B- and V-band images, which are inconsistent with the expected absence of flux shortwards of the Lyman alpha break for alpha galaxy at z > 5, and inconsistent with the previous flux measurement. Moreover, the spectral energy distribution for this object cannot readily be fitted by any known galaxy spectral template at any redshift, so the redshift is undetermined.

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