skip to main content

Title: The size and pervasiveness of Ly α–UV spatial offsets in star-forming galaxies at z ∼ 6
ABSTRACT We study the projected spatial offset between the ultraviolet continuum and Ly α emission for 65 lensed and unlensed galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (5 ≤ z ≤ 7), the first such study at these redshifts, in order to understand the potential for these offsets to confuse estimates of the Ly α properties of galaxies observed in slit spectroscopy. While we find that ∼40 per cent of galaxies in our sample show significant projected spatial offsets ($|\Delta _{\rm {Ly}\alpha -\rm {UV}}|$), we find a relatively modest average projected offset of $|\widetilde{\Delta }_{\rm {Ly}\alpha -\rm {UV}}|$  = 0.61 ± 0.08 proper kpc for the entire sample. A small fraction of our sample, ∼10 per cent, exhibit offsets in excess of 2 proper kpc, with offsets seen up to ∼4 proper kpc, sizes that are considerably larger than the effective radii of typical galaxies at these redshifts. An internal comparison and a comparison to studies at lower redshift yielded no significant evidence of evolution of $|\Delta _{\rm {Ly}\alpha -\rm {UV}}|$ with redshift. In our sample, ultraviolet (UV)-bright galaxies ($\widetilde{L_{\mathrm{ UV}}}/L^{\ast }_{\mathrm{ UV}}=0.67$) showed offsets a factor of three greater than their fainter counterparts ($\widetilde{L_{\mathrm{ UV}}}/L^{\ast }_{\mathrm{ UV}}=0.10$), 0.89 ± 0.18 versus 0.27 ± 0.05 proper kpc, respectively. The presence of companion galaxies and early stage merging activity more » appeared to be unlikely causes of these offsets. Rather, these offsets appear consistent with a scenario in which internal anisotropic processes resulting from stellar feedback, which is stronger in UV-brighter galaxies, facilitate Ly α fluorescence and/or backscattering from nearby or outflowing gas. The reduction in the Ly α flux due to offsets was quantified. It was found that the differential loss of Ly α photons for galaxies with average offsets is not, if corrected for, a limiting factor for all but the narrowest slit widths (<0.4 arcsec). However, for the largest offsets, if they are mostly perpendicular to the slit major axis, slit losses were found to be extremely severe in cases where slit widths of ≤1 arcsec were employed, such as those planned for James Webb Space Telescope/NIRSpec observations. « less
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; more » ; ; ; ; « less
Award ID(s):
1815458 1810822
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10287414
Journal Name:
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume:
504
Issue:
3
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
3662 to 3681
ISSN:
0035-8711
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract We constrain the distribution of spatially offset Lyman-alpha emission (Ly α) relative to rest-frame ultraviolet emission in ∼300 high redshift (3 < z < 5.5) Lyman-break galaxies (LBGs) exhibiting Ly α emission from VANDELS, a VLT/VIMOS slit-spectroscopic survey of the CANDELS Ultra Deep Survey and Chandra Deep Field South fields (≃0.2 deg2 total). Because slit spectroscopy only provides one spatial dimension, we use Bayesian inference to recover the underlying two-dimensional Ly α spatial offset distribution. We model the distribution using a two-dimensional circular Gaussian, defined by a single parameter σr,Ly α, the standard deviation expressed in polar coordinates. Over the entire redshift range ofmore »our sample (3 < z < 5.5), we find $\sigma _{r,\mathrm{Ly}\,\alpha }=1.70^{+0.09}_{-0.08}$ kpc ($68\hbox{ per cent}$ conf.), corresponding to ∼0${^{\prime\prime}_{.}}$25 at 〈z〉 = 4.5. We also find that σr,Ly α decreases significantly with redshift. Because Ly α spatial offsets can cause slit losses, the decrease in σr,Ly α with redshift can partially explain the increase in the fraction of Ly α emitters observed in the literature over this same interval, although uncertainties are still too large to reach a strong conclusion. If σr,Ly α continues to decrease into the reionization epoch, then the decrease in Ly α transmission from galaxies observed during this epoch might require an even higher neutral hydrogen fraction than what is currently inferred. Conversely, if spatial offsets increase with the increasing opacity of the intergalactic medium, slit losses may explain some of the drop in Ly α transmission observed at z > 6. Spatially resolved observations of Ly α and UV continuum at 6 < z < 8 are needed to settle the issue.« less
  2. ABSTRACT We present initial results from the Cosmic Ultraviolet Baryon Survey (CUBS). CUBS is designed to map diffuse baryonic structures at redshift z ≲ 1 using absorption-line spectroscopy of 15 UV-bright QSOs with matching deep galaxy survey data. CUBS QSOs are selected based on their NUV brightness to avoid biases against the presence of intervening Lyman limit systems (LLSs) at zabs < 1. We report five new LLSs of $\log \, N({\mathrm{ H} \,{\small I}})/{{\rm cm^{-2}}}\gtrsim 17.2$ over a total redshift survey path-length of $\Delta \, z_{\mathrm{ LL}}=9.3$, and a number density of $n(z)=0.43_{-0.18}^{+0.26}$. Considering all absorbers with $\log \,more »N({{\mathrm{ H} \,{\small I}}})/{{\rm cm^{-2}}}\gt 16.5$ leads to $n(z)=1.08_{-0.25}^{+0.31}$ at zabs < 1. All LLSs exhibit a multicomponent structure and associated metal transitions from multiple ionization states such as C ii, C iii, Mg ii, Si ii, Si iii, and O vi absorption. Differential chemical enrichment levels as well as ionization states are directly observed across individual components in three LLSs. We present deep galaxy survey data obtained using the VLT-MUSE integral field spectrograph and the Magellan Telescopes, reaching sensitivities necessary for detecting galaxies fainter than $0.1\, L_*$ at d ≲ 300 physical kpc (pkpc) in all five fields. A diverse range of galaxy properties is seen around these LLSs, from a low-mass dwarf galaxy pair, a co-rotating gaseous halo/disc, a star-forming galaxy, a massive quiescent galaxy, to a galaxy group. The closest galaxies have projected distances ranging from d = 15 to 72 pkpc and intrinsic luminosities from ${\approx} 0.01\, L_*$ to ${\approx} 3\, L_*$. Our study shows that LLSs originate in a variety of galaxy environments and trace gaseous structures with a broad range of metallicities.« less
  3. ABSTRACT We present new measurements of the spatial distribution and kinematics of neutral hydrogen in the circumgalactic and intergalactic medium surrounding star-forming galaxies at z ∼ 2. Using the spectra of ≃3000 galaxies with redshifts 〈z〉 = 2.3 ± 0.4 from the Keck Baryonic Structure Survey, we assemble a sample of more than 200 000 distinct foreground-background pairs with projected angular separations of 3–500 arcsec and spectroscopic redshifts, with 〈zfg〉 = 2.23 and 〈zbg〉 = 2.57 (foreground, background redshifts, respectively.) The ensemble of sightlines and foreground galaxies is used to construct a 2D map of the mean excess $\rm{H\,{\small I}}$$\rm Ly\,\alpha$ optical depth relative to themore »intergalactic mean as a function of projected galactocentric distance (20 ≲ Dtran/pkpc ≲ 4000) and line-of-sight velocity. We obtain accurate galaxy systemic redshifts, providing significant information on the line-of-sight kinematics of $\rm{H\,{\small I}}$ gas as a function of projected distance Dtran. We compare the map with cosmological zoom-in simulation, finding qualitative agreement between them. A simple two-component (accretion, outflow) analytical model generally reproduces the observed line-of-sight kinematics and projected spatial distribution of $\rm{H\,{\small I}}$. The best-fitting model suggests that galaxy-scale outflows with initial velocity vout ≃ 600 km s$^{-1}\,$ dominate the kinematics of circumgalactic $\rm{H\,{\small I}}$ out to Dtran ≃ 50 kpc, while $\rm{H\,{\small I}}$ at Dtran ≳ 100 kpc is dominated by infall with characteristic vin ≲ circular velocity. Over the impact parameter range 80 ≲ Dtran/pkpc ≲ 200, the $\rm{H\,{\small I}}$ line-of-sight velocity range reaches a minimum, with a corresponding flattening in the rest-frame $\rm Ly\,\alpha$ equivalent width. These observations can be naturally explained as the transition between outflow-dominated and accretion-dominated flows. Beyond Dtran ≃ 300 pkpc (∼1 cMpc), the line-of-sight kinematics are dominated by Hubble expansion.« less
  4. ABSTRACT

    We present deep rest-frame UV spectroscopic observations using the Gran Telescopio Canarias of six gravitationally lensed Lyα emitters (LAEs) at 2.36 < z < 2.82 selected from the BELLS GALLERY survey. By taking the magnifications into account, we show that LAEs can be as luminous as LLyα ≃ 30 × 1042 erg s−1 and MUV ≃ −23 (AB) without invoking an AGN component, in contrast with previous findings. We measure Lyα rest-frame equivalent widths, $EW_{0}\,\rm (Ly\alpha)$, ranging from 16 to 50 Å and Lyα escape fractions, $f_{\rm esc}\, \rm (Ly\alpha)$, from 10 per cent to 40 per cent. Large $EW_{0}\, \rm (Ly\alpha)$ and $f_{\rm esc}\, \rm (Ly\alpha)$ are foundmore »predominantly in LAEs showing weak low-ionization ISM absorption (EW0 ≲ 1 Å) and narrow Lyα profiles (≲300 km s−1 FWHM) with their peak close (≲80 km s−1) to their systemic redshifts, suggestive of less scatter from low H i column densities that favours the escape of Lyα photons. We infer stellar metallicities of Z/Z⊙ ≃ 0.2 in almost all LAEs by comparing the P-Cygni profiles of the wind lines N v1240 Å and C iv1549 Å with those from stellar synthesis models. We also find a trend between MUV and the velocity offset of ISM absorption lines, such as the most luminous LAEs experience stronger outflows. The most luminous LAEs show star formation rates up to ≃180 M⊙ yr−1, yet they appear relatively blue (βUV ≃ −1.8 to −2.0) showing evidence of little dust attenuation [E(B − V) = 0.10–0.14]. These luminous LAEs may be particular cases of young starburst galaxies that have had no time to form large amounts of dust. If so, they are ideal laboratories to study the early phase of massive star formation, stellar and dust mass growth, and chemical enrichment histories of starburst galaxies at high-z.

    « less
  5. ABSTRACT

    The observed properties of the Lyman-α (Ly α) emission line are a powerful probe of neutral gas in and around galaxies. We present spatially resolved Ly α spectroscopy with VLT/MUSE targeting VR7, a UV-luminous galaxy at z = 6.532 with moderate Ly α equivalent width (EW0 ≈ 38 Å). These data are combined with deep resolved [CII]158μm spectroscopy obtained with ALMA and UV imaging from HST and we also detect UV continuum with MUSE. Ly α emission is clearly detected with S/N ≈ 40 and FWHM of 374 km s−1. Ly α and [C ii] are similarly extended beyond the UV, with effective radius reff = 2.1 ± 0.2 kpc for a single exponential model or r$_{\rmmore »eff, Ly\alpha , halo} = 3.45^{+1.08}_{-0.87}$ kpc when measured jointly with the UV continuum. The Ly α profile is broader and redshifted with respect to the [C ii] line (by 213 km s−1), but there are spatial variations that are qualitatively similar in both lines and coincide with resolved UV components. This suggests that the emission originates from two components with plausibly different H i column densities. We place VR7 in the context of other galaxies at similar and lower redshift. The Ly α halo scale length is similar at different redshifts and velocity shifts with respect to the systemic are typically smaller. Overall, we find little indications of a more neutral vicinity at higher redshift. This means that the local (∼10 kpc) neutral gas conditions that determine the observed Ly α properties in VR7 resemble the conditions in post-reionization galaxies.

    « less