RELICS-DP7: Spectroscopic confirmation of a dichromatic primeval galaxy at z ~ 7

2020 
We report the discovery of a spectroscopically-confirmed strong Lyman-$\alpha$ emitter at $z=7.0281\pm0.0003$, observed as part of the Reionization Cluster Lensing Survey (RELICS). This galaxy, dubbed "Dichromatic Primeval Galaxy" at $z\sim7$ (DP7), shows two distinct components. While fairly unremarkable in terms of its ultraviolet (UV) luminosity ($\sim0.3L^{\ast}_{UV}$, where $L^{\ast}_{UV}$ is the characteristic luminosity), DP7 has one of the highest observed Lyman-$\alpha$ equivalent widths (EWs) among Lyman-$\alpha$ emitters at $z>6$ ($>200$ Angstrom in the rest frame). The strong Lyman-$\alpha$ emission generally suggests a young metal-poor, low-dust galaxy; however, we find that the UV slope $\beta$ of the galaxy as a whole is redder than typical star-forming galaxies at these redshifts, $-1.13\pm 0.84$, likely indicating, on average, a considerable amount of dust obscuration, or an older stellar population. When we measure $\beta$ for the two components separately, however, we find evidence of differing UV colors, suggesting two separate stellar populations. Also, we find that Lyman-$\alpha$ is spatially extended and likely larger than the galaxy size, hinting to the possible existence of a Lyman-$\alpha$ halo. Rejuvenation or merging events could explain these results. Either scenario requires an extreme stellar population, possibly including a component of Population III stars, or an obscured Active Galactic Nucleus. DP7, with its low UV luminosity and high Lyman-$\alpha$ EW, represents the typical galaxies that are thought to be the major contribution to the reionization of the Universe, and for this reason DP7 is an excellent target for follow-up with the James Webb Space Telescope.
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