3D-HST grism spectroscopy of a gravitationally lensed, low-metallicity starburst galaxy at z = 1.847

Gabriel B. Brammer, Rubén Sánchez-Janssen, Ivo Labbé, Elisabete Da Cunha, Dawn K. Erb, Marijn Franx, Mattia Fumagalli, Britt Lundgren, Danilo Marchesini, Ivelina Momcheva, Erica Nelson, Shannon Patel, Ryan Quadri, Hans Walter Rix, Rosalind E. Skelton, Kasper B. Schmidt, Arjen Van Der Wel, Pieter G. Van Dokkum, David A. Wake, Katherine E. Whitaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Citations (Scopus)


We present Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging and spectroscopy of the gravitational lens SL2SJ02176-0513, a cusp arc at z = 1.847. The UV continuum of the lensed galaxy is very blue, which is seemingly at odds with its redder optical colors. The 3D-HST WFC3/G141 near-infrared spectrum of the lens reveals the source of this discrepancy to be extremely strong [O III] λ5007 and Hβ emission lines with rest-frame equivalent widths of 2000 ± 100 and 520 ± 40 Å, respectively. The source has a stellar mass 10 8 M, sSFR 100 Gyr-1, and detection of [O III] λ4363 yields a metallicity of 12 + log (O/H) = 7.5 ± 0.2. We identify local blue compact dwarf analogs to SL2SJ02176-0513, which are among the most metal-poor galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. The local analogs resemble the lensed galaxy in many ways, including UV/optical spectral energy distribution, spatial morphology, and emission line equivalent widths and ratios. Common to SL2SJ02176-0513 and its local counterparts is an upturn at mid-IR wavelengths likely arising from hot dust heated by starbursts. The emission lines of SL2SJ02176-0513 are spatially resolved owing to the combination of the lens and the high spatial resolution of HST. The lensed galaxy is composed of two clumps with combined size re 300pc, and we resolve significant differences in UV color and emission line equivalent width between them. Though it has characteristics occasionally attributed to active galactic nuclei, we conclude that SL2SJ02176-0513 is a low-metallicity star-bursting dwarf galaxy. Such galaxies will be found in significant numbers in the full 3D-HST grism survey.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL17
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes


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