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Title: The Lyman Continuum Escape Survey: Connecting Time-dependent [O iii] and [O ii] Line Emission with Lyman Continuum Escape Fraction in Simulations of Galaxy Formation
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The Astrophysical Journal
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National Science Foundation
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  1. We present our analyses of 39 selected star-forming low- to intermediate-mass low-redshift galaxies from the KISSR survey. These galaxies were selected as being representative in the local volume of the kinds of early galaxies that might have hosted the first stars, and span a range of galaxy properties (EWHA, reddening, metallicity, stellar mass). The KISSR systems contain a population, in appearance resembling "purple peas", with potentially steep UV slopes and high equivalent widths in H-alpha. Using archival GALEX data and theoretical models of radiation transport in dusty galaxies with clumpy gas media, we translate measurements of the UV slopes of these low-mass low-z KISSR galaxies to their escape fractions in Ly-alpha (LyA) and Ly-continuum (LyC) radiation, confirming a relationship between a galaxy's steep UV spectral slope and a significant (> 0.1) LyA escape fraction. This relationship is seen in existing data of low- to intermediate-mass galaxies in the local volume (please see accompanying poster by Pilon et al. at this meeting). We also translate measured LyA escape fractions in the literature for 14 LARS galaxies and a few dozen green pea galaxies to their LyC escape fractions using similar modeling. This work was supported by the University of San Franciscomore »(USF) Faculty Development Fund, the USF Student Travel Fund, and by the Undergraduate ALFALFA Team through NSF grant AST-1637339.« less

    The ionizing photon escape fraction [Lyman continuum (LyC) fesc] of star-forming galaxies is the single greatest unknown in the reionization budget. Stochastic sightline effects prohibit the direct separation of LyC leakers from non-leakers at significant redshifts. Here we circumvent this uncertainty by inferring fesc using resolved (R > 4000) Lyman α (Lyα) profiles from the X-SHOOTER Lyα survey at z = 2 (XLS-z2). With empirically motivated criteria, we use Lyα profiles to select leakers ($f_{\mathrm{ esc}} > 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) and non-leakers ($f_{\mathrm{ esc}} < 5{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$) from a representative sample of >0.2L* Lyman α emitters (LAEs). We use median stacked spectra of these subsets over λrest ≈ 1000–8000 Å to investigate the conditions for LyC fesc. Our stacks show similar mass, metallicity, MUV, and βUV. We find the following differences between leakers versus non-leakers: (i) strong nebular C iv and He ii emission versus non-detections; (ii) [O iii]/[O ii] ≈ 8.5 versus ≈3; (iii) Hα/Hβ indicating no dust versus E(B − V) ≈ 0.3; (iv) Mg ii emission close to the systemic velocity versus redshifted, optically thick Mg ii; and (v) Lyα fesc of ${\approx} 50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ versus ${\approx} 10{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. The extreme equivalent widths (EWs) in leakers ([O iii]+$\mathrm{ H}\beta \approx 1100$ Å rest frame)more »constrain the characteristic time-scale of LyC escape to ≈3–10 Myr bursts when short-lived stars with the hardest ionizing spectra shine. The defining traits of leakers – extremely ionizing stellar populations, low column densities, a dust-free, high-ionization state interstellar medium (ISM) – occur simultaneously in the $f_{\rm esc} > 20{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ stack, suggesting they are causally connected, and motivating why indicators like [O iii]/[O ii] may suffice to constrain fesc at z > 6 with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). The leakers comprise half of our sample, have a median LyC$f_{\rm esc} \approx 50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ (conservative range: $20\!-\!55{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$), and an ionizing production efficiency $\log ({\xi _{\rm {ion}}/\rm {Hz\ erg^{-1}}})\approx 25.9$ (conservative range: 25.7–25.9). These results show LAEs – the type of galaxies rare at z ≈ 2, but that become the norm at higher redshift – are highly efficient ionizers, with extreme ξion and prolific fesc occurring in sync.

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  3. ABSTRACT We measure the Lyman continuum (LyC) escape fraction in 54 faint Lyman-alpha emitters (LAEs) at $z$ ≃ 3.1 in the GOODS-South field. With the average magnitude of R = 26.7 AB (MUV = −18.8 and L ≃ 0.1L*), these galaxies represent a population of compact young dwarf galaxies. Their properties are likely to resemble those in the galaxies responsible for reionizing the Universe at $z$ > 6. We do not detect LyC emission in any individual LAEs in the deep HST F336W images, which covers the rest-frame 820 Å. We do not detect the LyC emission of these LAEs in the stacked F336W images either. The 3σ upper limit of LyC escape fractions is $f_{\rm esc}\lt 14\!-\!32{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. However, the high Ly α rest-frame equivalent width (EW), low stellar mass, and UV luminosity of these LAEs suggest that they should have $f_{\rm esc}\gt 50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$. The low LyC escape fraction from this work and other stacking analyses suggests that the LyC-leaking galaxies with $f_{\rm esc}\gt 50{{\ \rm per\ cent}}$ at $z$ = 2–3 do not follow the relation between fesc and UV luminosity and Ly α EW derived from typical galaxies at similar redshifts. Therefore, the UV luminositymore »and Ly α EW are not the best indicators for the LyC escape fraction.« less

    The connection between the escape fraction of ionizing radiation (fesc) and the properties of galaxies, such as stellar mass ($\rm M_{\rm *}$), age, star-formation rate (SFR), and dust content, are key inputs for reionization models, but many of these relationships remain untested at high redshift. We present an analysis of a sample of 96 $z$ ∼ 3 galaxies from the Keck Lyman Continuum Spectroscopic Survey (KLCS). These galaxies have both sensitive Keck/LRIS spectroscopic measurements of the Lyman continuum (LyC) region, and multiband photometry that places constraints on stellar population parameters. We construct composite spectra from subsamples binned as a function of galaxy property and quantify the ionizing-photon escape for each composite. We find a significant anti-correlation between fesc and $\rm M_{\rm *}$, consistent with predictions from cosmological zoom-in simulations. We also find significant anti-correlation between fesc and E(B−V), encoding the underlying physics of LyC escape in our sample. We also find no significant correlation between fesc and either stellar age or specific SFR (= SFR/$\rm M_{\rm *}$), challenging interpretations that synchronize recent star formation and favorable conditions for ionizing escape. The galaxy properties now shown to correlate with fesc in the KLCS are Lyα equivalent width, UV Luminosity, $\rm M_{\rmmore »*}$, SFR, and E(B−V), but not age or sSFR. This comprehensive analysis of galaxy properties and LyC escape at high redshift will be used to guide future models and observations of the reionization epoch.

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  5. Abstract

    We present new ALMA observations and physical properties of a Lyman break galaxy at z = 7.15. Our target, B14-65666, has a bright ultra-violet (UV) absolute magnitude, MUV ≈ −22.4, and has been spectroscopically identified in Lyα with a small rest-frame equivalent width of ≈4 Å. A previous Hubble Space TElescope (HST) image has shown that the target is composed of two spatially separated clumps in the rest-frame UV. With ALMA, we have newly detected spatially resolved [O iii] 88 μm, [C ii] 158 μm, and their underlying dust continuum emission. In the whole system of B14-65666, the [O iii] and [C ii] lines have consistent redshifts of 7.1520 ± 0.0003, and the [O iii] luminosity, (34.4 ± 4.1) × 108 L⊙, is about three times higher than the [C ii] luminosity, (11.0 ± 1.4) × 108 L⊙. With our two continuum flux densities, the dust temperature is constrained to be Td ≈ 50–60 K under the assumption of a dust emissivity index of βd = 2.0–1.5, leading to a large total infrared luminosity of LTIR ≈ 1 × 1012 L⊙. Owing to our high spatial resolution data, we show that the [O iii] and [C ii] emission can be spatially decomposed into two clumps associated with the two rest-frame UV clumps whose spectra aremore »kinematically separated by ≈200 km s−1. We also find these two clumps have comparable UV, infrared, [O iii], and [C ii] luminosities. Based on these results, we argue that B14-65666 is a starburst galaxy induced by a major merger. The merger interpretation is also supported by the large specific star formation rate (defined as the star formation rate per unit stellar mass), sSFR $= 260^{+119}_{-57}\:$Gyr−1, inferred from our SED fitting. Probably, a strong UV radiation field caused by intense star formation contributes to its high dust temperature and the [O iii]-to-[C ii] luminosity ratio.

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