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  1. ABSTRACT

    The combination of the MOSDEF and KBSS-MOSFIRE surveys represents the largest joint investment of Keck/MOSFIRE time to date, with ∼3000 galaxies at 1.4 ≲ z ≲ 3.8, roughly half of which are at z ∼ 2. MOSDEF is photometric- and spectroscopic-redshift selected with a rest-optical magnitude limit, while KBSS-MOSFIRE is primarily selected based on rest-UV colours and a rest-UV magnitude limit. Analysing both surveys in a uniform manner with consistent spectral-energy-distribution (SED) models, we find that the MOSDEF z ∼ 2 targeted sample has higher median M* and redder rest U−V colour than the KBSS-MOSFIRE z ∼ 2 targeted sample, and smaller median SED-based SFR and sSFR (SFR(SED) and sSFR(SED)). Specifically, MOSDEF targeted a larger population of red galaxies with U−V and V−J ≥1.25, while KBSS-MOSFIRE contains more young galaxies with intense star formation. Despite these differences in the z ∼ 2 targeted samples, the subsets of the surveys with multiple emission lines detected and analysed in previous work are much more similar. All median host-galaxy properties with the exception of stellar population age – i.e. M*, SFR(SED), sSFR(SED), AV, and UVJ colours – agree within the uncertainties. Additionally, when uniform emission-line fitting and stellar Balmer absorption correction techniquesmore »are applied, there is no significant offset between both samples in the [O iii]λ5008/H β versus [N ii]λ6585/H α diagnostic diagram, in contrast to previously reported discrepancies. We can now combine the MOSDEF and KBSS-MOSFIRE surveys to form the largest z ∼ 2 sample with moderate-resolution rest-optical spectra and construct the fundamental scaling relations of star-forming galaxies during this important epoch.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2023
  3. Abstract We perform joint modeling of the composite rest-frame far-UV and optical spectra of redshift 1.85 ≤ z ≤ 3.49 star-forming galaxies to deduce key properties of the massive stars, ionized interstellar medium (ISM), and neutral ISM, with the aim of investigating the principal factors affecting the production and escape of Ly α photons. Our sample consists of 136 galaxies with deep Keck/LRIS and MOSFIRE spectra covering, respectively, Ly β through C iii ] λλ 1907, 1909 and [O ii ], [Ne iii ], H β , [O iii ], H α , [N ii ], and [S ii ]. Spectral and photoionization modeling indicates that the galaxies are uniformly consistent with stellar population synthesis models that include the effects of stellar binarity. Over the dynamic range of our sample, there is little variation in stellar and nebular abundance with Ly α equivalent width, W λ (Ly α ), and only a marginal anticorrelation between age and W λ (Ly α ). The inferred range of ionizing spectral shapes is insufficient to solely account for the variation in W λ (Ly α ); rather, the covering fraction of optically thick H i appears to be the principal factor modulating themore »escape of Ly α , with most of the Ly α photons in down-the-barrel observations of galaxies escaping through low column density or ionized channels in the ISM. Our analysis shows that a high star-formation-rate surface density, Σ SFR , particularly when coupled with a low galaxy potential (i.e., low stellar mass), can aid in reducing the covering fraction and ease the escape of Ly α photons. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our results for the escape of ionizing radiation at high redshift.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2023
  4. ABSTRACT We present the first statistical analysis of kinematically resolved, spatially extended $\rm Ly\alpha$ emission around z = 2–3 galaxies in the Keck Baryonic Structure Survey (KBSS) using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI). Our sample of 59 star-forming galaxies (zmed = 2.29) comprises the subset with typical KCWI integration times of ∼5 h and with existing imaging data from the Hubble Space Telescope and/or adaptive optics-assisted integral field spectroscopy. The high-resolution images were used to evaluate the azimuthal dependence of the diffuse $\rm Ly\alpha$ emission with respect to the stellar continuum within projected galactocentric distances of ≲30 proper kpc. We introduce cylindrically projected 2D spectra (CP2D) that map the averaged $\rm Ly\alpha$ spectral profile over a specified range of azimuthal angle, as a function of impact parameter around galaxies. The averaged CP2D spectrum of all galaxies shows clear signatures of $\rm Ly\alpha$ resonant scattering by outflowing gas. We stacked the CP2D spectra of individual galaxies over ranges of azimuthal angle with respect to their major axes. The extended $\rm Ly\alpha$ emission along the galaxy principal axes is statistically indistinguishable, with residual asymmetry of ≤2 per cent (∼2σ) of the integrated $\rm Ly\alpha$ emission. The symmetry implies that the $\rm Ly\alpha$ scattering medium is dominatedmore »by outflows in all directions within 30 kpc. Meanwhile, we find that the blueshifted component of $\rm Ly\alpha$ emission is marginally stronger along galaxy minor axes for galaxies with relatively weak $\rm Ly\alpha$ emission. We speculate that this weak directional dependence of $\rm Ly\alpha$ emission becomes discernible only when the $\rm Ly\alpha$ escape fraction is low. These discoveries highlight the need for similar analyses in simulations with $\rm Ly\alpha$ radiative transfer modelling.« less
  5. ABSTRACT We analyse the rest-optical emission-line ratios of z ∼ 1.5 galaxies drawn from the Multi-Object Spectrometer for Infra-Red Exploration Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. Using composite spectra, we investigate the mass–metallicity relation (MZR) at z ∼ 1.5 and measure its evolution to z = 0. When using gas-phase metallicities based on the N2 line ratio, we find that the MZR evolution from z ∼ 1.5 to z = 0 depends on stellar mass, evolving by $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.25$ dex at M*< $10^{9.75}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$ down to $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.05$ at M* ≳ $10^{10.5}\, \mathrm{M}_{\odot }$. In contrast, the O3N2-based MZR shows a constant offset of $\Delta \rm log(\rm O/H) \sim 0.30$ across all masses, consistent with previous MOSDEF results based on independent metallicity indicators, and suggesting that O3N2 provides a more robust metallicity calibration for our z ∼ 1.5 sample. We investigated the secondary dependence of the MZR on star formation rate (SFR) by measuring correlated scatter about the mean M*-specific SFR and M*−$\log (\rm O3N2)$ relations. We find an anticorrelation between $\log (\rm O/H)$ and sSFR offsets, indicating the presence of a M*−SFR−Z relation, though with limited significance. Additionally, we find that our z ∼ 1.5more »stacks lie along the z = 0 metallicity sequence at fixed μ = log (M*/M⊙) − 0.6 × $\log (\rm SFR / M_{\odot } \, yr^{-1})$ suggesting that the z ∼ 1.5 stacks can be described by the z = 0 fundamental metallicity relation (FMR). However, using different calibrations can shift the calculated metallicities off of the local FMR, indicating that appropriate calibrations are essential for understanding metallicity evolution with redshift. Finally, understanding how [N ii]/H α scales with galaxy properties is crucial to accurately describe the effects of blended [N ii] and H α on redshift and H α fiux measurements in future large surveys utilizing low-resolution spectra such as with Euclid and the Roman Space Telescope.« less
  6. ABSTRACT We analyse the rest-optical emission-line spectra of z ∼ 2.3 star-forming galaxies in the complete MOSFIRE Deep Evolution Field (MOSDEF) survey. In investigating the origin of the well-known offset between the sequences of high-redshift and local galaxies in the [O iii]λ5008/Hβ versus [N ii]λ6585/Hα (‘[N ii] BPT’) diagram, we define two populations of z ∼ 2.3 MOSDEF galaxies. These include the high population that is offset towards higher [O iii]λ5008/Hβ and/or [N ii]λ6585/Hα with respect to the local SDSS sequence and the low population that overlaps the SDSS sequence. These two groups are also segregated within the [O  iii]λ5008/Hβ versus [S ii]λλ6718,6733/Hα and the [O iii]λλ4960,5008/[O ii ]λλ3727,3730 (O32) versus ([O  iii]λλ4960,5008+[O ii]λλ3727,3730)/Hβ (R23) diagrams, which suggests qualitatively that star-forming regions in the more offset galaxies are characterized by harder ionizing spectra at fixed nebular oxygen abundance. We also investigate many galaxy properties of the split sample and find that the high sample is on average smaller in size and less massive, but has higher specific star formation rate (SFR) and SFR surface density values and is slightly younger compared to the low population. From Cloudy+BPASS photoionization models, we estimate that the high population has a lower stellar metallicity (i.e. harder ionizing spectrum) but slightly higher nebular metallicity and higher ionizationmore »parameter compared to the low population. While the high population is more α-enhanced (i.e. higher α/Fe) than the low population, both samples are significantly more α-enhanced compared to local star-forming galaxies with similar rest-optical line ratios. These differences must be accounted for in all high-redshift star-forming galaxies – not only those ‘offset’ from local excitation sequences.« less
  7. ABSTRACT We present new observations of Lyman-α (Lyα) Blob 1 (LAB1) in the SSA22 protocluster region (z = 3.09) using the Keck Cosmic Web Imager and Keck Multi-object Spectrometer for Infrared Exploration. We have created a narrow-band Lyα image and identified several prominent features. By comparing the spatial distributions and intensities of Lyα and Hβ, we find that recombination of photo-ionized H i gas followed by resonant scattering is sufficient to explain all the observed Lyα/Hβ ratios. We further decode the spatially resolved Lyα profiles using both moment maps and radiative transfer modelling. By fitting a set of multiphase, ‘clumpy’ models to the observed Lyα profiles, we manage to reasonably constrain many parameters, namely the H i number density in the interclump medium (ICM), the cloud volume filling factor, the random velocity and outflow velocity of the clumps, the H i outflow velocity of the ICM, and the local systemic redshift. Our model has successfully reproduced the diverse Lyα morphologies, and the main results are: (1) the observed Lyα spectra require relatively few clumps per line of sight as they have significant fluxes at the line centre; (2) the velocity dispersion of the clumps yields a significant broadening of the spectra as observed; (3)more »the clump bulk outflow can also cause additional broadening if the H i in the ICM is optically thick; (4) and the H i in the ICM is responsible for the absorption feature close to the Lyα line centre.« less