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  1. 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 activitymore »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
  2. ABSTRACT The reionization of hydrogen is closely linked to the first structures in the Universe, so understanding the timeline of reionization promises to shed light on the nature of these early objects. In particular, transmission of Lyman alpha (Ly α) from galaxies through the intergalactic medium (IGM) is sensitive to neutral hydrogen in the IGM, so can be used to probe the reionization timeline. In this work, we implement an improved model of the galaxy UV luminosity to dark matter halo mass relation to infer the volume-averaged fraction of neutral hydrogen in the IGM from Ly α observations. Many models assume that UV-bright galaxies are hosted by massive dark matter haloes in overdense regions of the IGM, so reside in relatively large ionized regions. However, observations and N-body simulations indicate that scatter in the UV luminosity–halo mass relation is expected. Here, we model the scatter (though we assume the IGM topology is unaffected) and assess the impact on Ly α visibility during reionization. We show that UV luminosity–halo mass scatter reduces Ly α visibility compared to models without scatter, and that this is most significant for UV-bright galaxies. We then use our model with scatter to infer the neutral fraction, $\overline{x}_{\mathrm{ H}\,{\small I}}$, atmore »z ∼ 7 using a sample of Lyman-break galaxies in legacy fields. We infer $\overline{x}_{\mathrm{ H}\,{\small I}} = 0.55_{-0.13}^{+0.11}$ with scatter, compared to $\overline{x}_{\mathrm{ H}\,{\small I}} = 0.59_{-0.14}^{+0.12}$ without scatter, a very slight decrease and consistent within the uncertainties. Finally, we place our results in the context of other constraints on the reionization timeline and discuss implications for future high-redshift galaxy studies.« less
  3. Physical properties of galaxies at z>7 are of interest for understanding both the early phases of star formation and the process of cosmic reionization. Chemical abundance measurements offer valuable information on the integrated star formation history, and hence ionizing photon production, as well as the rapid gas accretion expected at such high redshifts. We use reported measurements of [O III] 88μm emission and star formation rate to estimate gas-phase oxygen abundances in five galaxies at z=7.1-9.1 using the direct T_e method. We find typical abundances 12+log(O/H) = 7.9 (∼0.2 times the solar value) and an evolution of 0.9±0.5 dex in oxygen abundance at fixed stellar mass from z≃8 to 0. These results are compatible with theoretical predictions, albeit with large (conservative) uncertainties in both mass and metallicity. We assess both statistical and systematic uncertainties to identify promising means of improvement with the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). In particular we highlight [O III] 52μm as a valuable feature for robust metallicity measurements. Precision of 0.1-0.2 dex in T_e-based O/H abundance can be reasonably achieved for galaxies at z≈5-8 by combining [O III] 52μm with rest-frame optical strong lines. It will also be possiblemore »to probe gas mixing and mergers via resolved T_e-based abundances on kpc scales. With ALMA and JWST, direct metallicity measurements will thus be remarkably accessible in the reionization epoch.« less
  4. ABSTRACT We discovered a strongly lensed (μ ≳ 40) Ly α emission at z = 6.629 (S/N ≃ 18) in the MUSE Deep Lensed Field (MDLF) targeting the Hubble Frontier Field (HFF) galaxy cluster MACS J0416. Dedicated lensing simulations imply that the Ly α emitting region necessarily crosses the caustic. The arc-like shape of the Ly α extends 3 arcsec on the observed plane and is the result of two merged multiple images, each one with a de-lensed Ly α luminosity L ≲ 2.8 × 1040 erg s−1 arising from a confined region (≲150 pc effective radius). A spatially unresolved Hubble Space Telescope(HST) counterpart is barely detected at S/N ≃ 2 after stacking the near-infrared bands, corresponding to an observed (intrinsic) magnitude m1500 ≳ 30.8 (≳35.0). The inferred rest-frame Ly α equivalent width is EW0 > 1120 if the IGM transmission is TIGM < 0.5. The low luminosities and the extremely large Ly α EW0 match the case of a Population III (Pop III) star complex made of several dozens stars (∼104 M⊙) that irradiate an H ii region crossing the caustic. While the Ly α and stellar continuum are among the faintest ever observed at this redshift, the continuum and the Ly α emissions could be affected by differential magnification, possibly biasing the EW0 estimate. Themore »aforementioned tentative HST detection tends to favour a large EW0, making such a faint Pop III candidate a key target for the James Webb Space Telescope and Extremely Large Telescopes.« less
  5. 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 of 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 requiremore »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