An echelle spectrogram (R = 30,000) of the 2300-3100 Å region in the ultraviolet spectrum of the F8 V star 9 Comae is presented. The observation is used to calibrate features in the mid-ultraviolet spectra of similar stars according to age and metal content. In particular, the spectral break at 2640 Å is interpreted using the spectral synthesis code SYNSPEC. We use this feature to estimate the time since the last major star formation episode in the early-type galaxy LBDS 53W091 at redshift z = 1.55, whose rest-frame mid-ultraviolet spectrum, observed with the Keck Telescope, is dominated by the flux from similar stars that are at or near the main-sequence turnoff in that system (Spinrad et al.). Our result, 1 Gyr if the flux-dominating stellar population has a metallicity twice solar, or 2 Gyr for a more plausible solar metallicity, is significantly lower than the previous estimate and thereby relaxes constraints on cosmological parameters that were implied by the earlier work.
|Issue number||2 PART II|
|Publication status||Published - 1998 Jan 1|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science