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Creators/Authors contains: "Steidel, Charles C."

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  1. ABSTRACT

    We present a new semi-analytical formalism for modelling metal absorption lines that emerge from a clumpy galactic environment, ALPACA. We predict the “down-the-barrel” (DTB) metal absorption line profiles and the equivalent width (EW) of absorption at different impact parameters (b) as a function of the clump properties, including clump kinematics, clump volume filling factor, clump number density profile, and clump ion column densities. With ALPACA, we jointly model the stacked DTB C ii λ1334 spectrum of a sample of z ∼ 3 Lyman break galaxies and the EW versus b profile of a sample of z ∼ 2 star-forming galaxy–galaxy pairs. ALPACA successfully reproduced two data sets simultaneously, and the best fit prefers a low clump volume filling factor (∼3 × 10−3). The radial velocities of the clumps are a superposition of a rapidly accelerated outflow with a maximum velocity of $\sim 400 \, {\mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}}$ and a velocity dispersion of $\sigma \sim 120 \, {\mathrm{km}\, \mathrm{s}^{-1}}$. The joint modelling reveals a physical scenario where the absorption observed at a particular velocity is contributed by the clumps distributed over a fairly broad range of radii. We also find that the commonly adopted Sobolev approximation is at best only applicable within a narrow range of radii where the clumps are undergoing rapid acceleration in a non-volume-filling clumpy medium. Lastly, we find that the clump radial velocity profile may not be fully constrained by the joint modelling and spatially resolved Ly α emission modelling may help break the degeneracy.

     
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  2. Abstract

    We present the first results from Chemical Evolution Constrained Using Ionized Lines in Interstellar Aurorae (CECILIA), a Cycle 1 JWST NIRSpec/MSA program that uses ultra-deep ∼30 hr G235M/F170LP observations to target multiple electron temperature-sensitive auroral lines in the spectra of 33 galaxies atz∼ 1–3. Using a subset of 23 galaxies, we construct two ∼600 object-hour composite spectra, both with and without the stellar continuum, and use these to investigate the characteristic rest-optical (λrest≈ 5700–8500 Å) spectrum of star-forming galaxies at the peak epoch of cosmic star formation. Emission lines of eight different elements (H, He, N, O, Si, S, Ar, and Ni) are detected, with most of these features observed to be ≲3% the strength of Hα. We report the characteristic strength of three auroral features ([Nii]λ5756, [Siii]λ6313, and [Oii]λλ7322, 7332), as well as other semi-strong and faint emission lines, including forbidden [Niii]λλ7380, 7414 and permitted Oiλ8449, some of which have never before been observed outside of the local Universe. Using these measurements, we findTe[Nii] = 13,630 ± 2540 K, representing the first measurement of electron temperature using [Nii] in the high-redshift Universe. We also see evidence for broad line emission with a FWHM of536167+45km s−1; the broad component of Hαis 6.01%–28.31% the strength of the narrow component and likely arises from star-formation-driven outflows. Finally, we briefly comment on the feasibility of obtaining large samples of faint emission lines using JWST in the future.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  3. ABSTRACT

    We report the detection of cold dust in an apparently quiescent massive galaxy (log (M⋆/M⊙) ≈ 11) at z ∼ 2 (G4). The source is identified as a serendipitous 2 mm continuum source in a deep ALMA observation within the field of Q2343-BX610, a z = 2.21 massive star-forming disc galaxy. Available multiband photometry of G4 suggests redshift of z ∼ 2 and a low specific star formation rate (sSFR), log (SFR/M⋆)[yr−1] ≈ −10.2, corresponding to ≈1.2 dex below the z = 2 main sequence (MS). G4 appears to be a peculiar dust-rich quiescent galaxy for its stellar mass (log (Mdust/M⋆) = −2.71 ± 0.26), with its estimated mass-weighted age (∼1–2 Gyr). We compile z ≳ 1 quiescent galaxies in the literature and discuss their age–ΔMS and log (Mdust/M⋆)–age relations to investigate passive evolution and dust depletion scale. A long dust depletion time and its morphology suggest morphological quenching along with less efficient feedback that could have acted on G4. The estimated dust yield for G4 further supports this idea, requiring efficient survival of dust and/or grain growth, and rejuvenation (or additional accretion). Follow-up observations probing the stellar light and cold dust peak are necessary to understand the implication of these findings in the broader context of galaxy evolutionary studies and quenching in the early universe.

     
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  4. Abstract

    Dwarf galaxies located in extremely underdense cosmic voids are excellent test beds for disentangling the effects of large-scale environments on galaxy formation and evolution. We present the first results of the Dwarfs in Void Environments Survey, which has obtained integral field spectroscopy for low-mass galaxies (M= 107–109M) located inside (N= 21) and outside (N= 9) cosmic voids using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager. Using measurements of stellar line-of-sight rotational velocityvrotand velocity dispersionσ, we test the tidal stirring hypothesis, which posits that dwarf spheroidal galaxies are formed through tidal interactions with more massive host galaxies. We measure low values ofvrot/σ≲ 2 for our sample of isolated dwarf galaxies, and we find no trend betweenvrot/σand the distance from a massive galaxydLout todL10Mpc. These suggest that dwarf galaxies can become dispersion-supported, “puffy” systems even in the absence of environmental effects like tidal interactions. We also find indications of an upward trend betweenvrot/σand galaxy stellar mass, perhaps implying that stellar disk formation depends on mass rather than environment. Although some of our conclusions may be slightly modified by systematic effects, our main result still holds: that isolated low-mass galaxies may form and remain as puffy systems rather than the dynamically cold disks predicted by classical galaxy formation theory.

     
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  5. Abstract We present UV and Ly α radial surface brightness (SB) profiles of Ly α emitters (LAEs) at z = 2.84 detected with the Hyper Suprime-Cam on the Subaru Telescope. The depth of our data, together with the wide-field coverage including a protocluster, enable us to study the dependence of Ly α halos (LAHs) on various galaxy properties, including Mpc scale environments. UV and Ly α images of 3490 LAEs are extracted, and stacking the images yields SB sensitivity of ∼ 1 × 10 − 20 erg s − 1 cm − 2 arcsec − 2 in Ly α , reaching the expected level of optically thick gas illuminated by the UV background at z ∼ 3. Fitting of the two-component exponential function gives the scale-lengths of 1.56 ± 0.01 and 10.4 ± 0.3 pkpc. Dividing the sample according to their photometric properties, we find that, while the dependence of halo scale-length on environment outside of the protocluster core is not clear, LAEs in the central regions of protoclusters appear to have very large LAHs, which could be caused by combined effects of source overlapping and diffuse Ly α emission from cool intergalactic gas permeating the forming protocluster core irradiated by active members. For the first time, we identify UV halos around bright LAEs that are probably due to a few lower-mass satellite galaxies. Through comparison with recent numerical simulations, we conclude that, while scattered Ly α photons from the host galaxies are dominant, star formation in satellites evidently contributes to LAHs, and that fluorescent Ly α emission may be boosted within protocluster cores at cosmic noon and/or near bright QSOs. 
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  6. ABSTRACT The discovery of giant quasar Ly α nebulae at z > 2 has opened up the possibility to directly study in emission the Circumgalactic and Intergalactic Medium (CGM/IGM). However, the resonant nature of the Ly α line and its different emission mechanisms hamper the ability to constrain both the kinematics and physical properties of the CGM/IGM. Here, we present results of a pilot project aiming at the detection of CGM H α emission, a line which does not suffer from these limitations. To this end, we first used KCWI to detect Ly α emission around three bright quasars with 2.25 < z < 2.27, a range which is free from bright IR sky lines for H α, and then selected the most extended nebula for H α follow-up with MOSFIRE. Within the MOSFIRE slit, we detected H α emission extending up to 20 physical kpc with a total H α flux of FH α = (9.5 ± 0.9) × 10$^{-18}~\mathrm{erg\, s^{-1}\, cm^{-2}}$. Considering the Ly α flux in the same region, we found FLy α/FH α = 3.7 ± 0.3 consistent with that obtained for the Slug Nebula at z = 2.275 and with recombination radiation. This implies high densities or a very broad density distribution within the CGM of high-redshift quasars. Moreover, the H α line profile suggests the presence of multiple emitting components overlapping along our line of sight and relatively quiescent kinematics, which seems incompatible with either quasar outflows capable of escaping the potential well of the host halo or disc-like rotation in a massive halo (>1012 M⊙). 
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  7. Abstract

    The resonantly scattered Lyαline illuminates the extended halos of neutral hydrogen in the circumgalactic medium of galaxies. We present integral field Keck Cosmic Web Imager observations of double-peaked, spatially extended Lyαemission in 12 relatively low-mass (M∼ 109M)z∼ 2 galaxies characterized by extreme nebular emission lines. Using individual spaxels and small bins as well as radially binned profiles of larger regions, we find that for most objects in the sample the Lyαblue-to-red peak ratio increases, the peak separation decreases, and the fraction of flux emerging at line center increases with radius. We use new radiative transfer simulations to model each galaxy with a clumpy, multiphase outflow with radially varying outflow velocity, and self-consistently apply the same velocity model to the low-ionization interstellar absorption lines. These models reproduce the trends of peak ratio, peak separation, and trough depth with radius, and broadly reconcile outflow velocities inferred from Lyαand absorption lines. The galaxies in our sample are well-described by a model in which neutral, outflowing clumps are embedded in a hotter, more highly ionized inter-clump medium (ICM), whose residual neutral content produces absorption at the systemic redshift. The peak ratio, peak separation, and trough flux fraction are primarily governed by the line-of-sight component of the outflow velocity, the Hicolumn density, and the residual neutral density in the ICM respectively. The azimuthal asymmetries in the line profile further suggest nonradial gas motions at large radii and variations in the Hicolumn density in the outer halos.

     
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  8. ABSTRACT

    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, $\rm M_{\rm *}$, 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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  9. ABSTRACT The connection between the escape fraction of ionizing photons (fesc) and star formation rate surface density (ΣSFR) is a key input for reionization models, but remains untested at high redshift. We analyse 35 z ∼ 3 galaxies from the Keck Lyman Continuum Survey (KLCS) covered by deep, rest far-UV spectra of the Lyman continuum (LyC) and high-resolution HST V606 imaging, enabling estimates of both fesc and rest-UV sizes. Using Sérsic profile fits to HST images and spectral-energy distribution fits to multiband photometry, we measure effective sizes and SFRs for the galaxies in our sample, and separate the sample into two bins of ΣSFR. Based on composite spectra, we estimate 〈fesc〉 for both ΣSFR subsamples, finding no significant difference in 〈fesc〉 between the two. To test the representativeness of the KLCS HST sample and robustness of this result, we attempt to recover the well-established correlation between fesc and Lyα equivalent width. This correlation is not significant within the KLCS HST sample, indicating that the sample is insufficient for correlating fesc and galaxy properties such as ΣSFR. We perform stacking simulations using the KLCS parent sample to determine the optimal sample size for robust probes of the fesc-ΣSFR connection to inform future observing programs. For a program with a selection independent of ionizing properties, ≥90 objects are required; for one preferentially observing strongly-leaking LyC sources, ≥58 objects are required. More generally, measuring the connection between fesc and ΣSFR requires a larger, representative sample spanning a wide dynamic range in galaxies properties such as ΣSFR. 
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