A Deep Multicolor Survey. VII. Extremely Red Objects and Galaxy Formation

Martini, P. 2001, AJ, 121, 2301

Extremely Red Objects (EROs) offer a window to the universe at z~1 analogous to that provided by the Lyman Break galaxies at z=3. Passive evolution and hierarchical galaxy formation models make very distinct predictions for the K (2.2um) surface density of galaxies at z~1 and EROs are a powerful constraint on these theories. I present a study of nine resolved EROs with R-K>5.3 and K<18 mag found in the 185 arcmin^2 of the Deep Multicolor Survey with near-infrared imaging. Photometric redshifts for these galaxies shows they all lie at z=0.8-1.3. The relatively blue J-K colors of these galaxies suggest that most are old ellipticals, rather than dusty starbursts. The surface density of EROs in this survey (>0.05 arcmin^{-2}), which is a lower limit to the total z~1 galaxy surface density, is an order of magnitude below the prediction of passive galaxy evolution, yet over a factor of two higher than the hierarchical galaxy formation prediction for a flat, matter-dominated universe. A flat, Lambda-dominated universe may bring the hierarchical galaxy formation model into agreement with the observed ERO surface density.

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