skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: The Diversity of Diffuse Ly α Nebulae around Star-forming Galaxies at High Redshift

Abstract

We report the detection of diffuse Ly α emission, or Ly α halos (LAHs), around star-forming galaxies at z ≈ 3.78 and 2.66 in the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey Boötes field. Our samples consist of a total of ∼1400 galaxies, within two separate regions containing spectroscopically confirmed galaxy overdensities. They provide a unique opportunity to investigate how the LAH characteristics vary with host galaxy large-scale environment and physical properties. We stack Ly α images of different samples defined by these properties and measure their median LAH sizes by decomposing the stacked Ly α radial profile into a compact galaxy-like and an extended halo-like component. We find that the exponential scale-length of LAHs depends on UV continuum and Ly α luminosities, but not on Ly α equivalent widths or galaxy overdensity parameters. The full samples, which are dominated by low UV-continuum luminosity Ly α emitters ( M {sub UV} ≳ −21), exhibit LAH sizes of 5–6 kpc. However, the most UV- or Ly α- luminous galaxies have more extended halos with scale-lengths of 7–9 kpc. The stacked Ly α radial profiles decline more steeply than recent theoretical predictions that include the contributions from gravitational cooling of infalling gas and from low-levelmore » star formation in satellites. However, the LAH extent matches what one would expect for photons produced in the galaxy and then resonantly scattered by gas in an outflowing envelope. The observed trends of LAH sizes with host galaxy properties suggest that the physical conditions of the circumgalactic medium (covering fraction, H i column density, and outflow velocity) change with halo mass and/or star formation rates.« less

Authors:
;  [1]; ;  [2];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [6];  [7]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Purdue University, 525 Northwestern Avenue, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (United States)
  2. National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 N. Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85719 (United States)
  3. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Riverside, 900 University Avenue, Riverside, CA 92521 (United States)
  4. Department of Astronomy, University of Texas at Austin, 2515 Speedway, Stop C1400, Austin, TX 78712 (United States)
  5. Department of Astronomy, New Mexico State University, P.O. Box 30001, Las Cruces, NM 88001 (United States)
  6. Steward Observatory, University of Arizona, 933 N Cherry Avenue, Tucson, AZ 85721 (United States)
  7. Department of Astronomy, University of Florida, 211 Bryant Space Science Center, Gainesville, FL 32611 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22661279
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 837; Journal Issue: 2; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; COOLING; COSMOLOGY; DENSITY; DETECTION; EMISSION; FORECASTING; GALAXIES; GALAXY CLUSTERS; LUMINOSITY; LYMAN LINES; MASS; NEBULAE; PHOTONS; RED SHIFT; SATELLITES; STACKS; STARS

Citation Formats

Xue, Rui, Lee, Kyoung-Soo, Dey, Arjun, Inami, Hanae, Reddy, Naveen, Hong, Sungryong, Prescott, Moire K. M., Jannuzi, Buell T., and Gonzalez, Anthony H.. The Diversity of Diffuse Ly α Nebulae around Star-forming Galaxies at High Redshift. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/837/2/172.
Xue, Rui, Lee, Kyoung-Soo, Dey, Arjun, Inami, Hanae, Reddy, Naveen, Hong, Sungryong, Prescott, Moire K. M., Jannuzi, Buell T., & Gonzalez, Anthony H.. The Diversity of Diffuse Ly α Nebulae around Star-forming Galaxies at High Redshift. United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/837/2/172.
Xue, Rui, Lee, Kyoung-Soo, Dey, Arjun, Inami, Hanae, Reddy, Naveen, Hong, Sungryong, Prescott, Moire K. M., Jannuzi, Buell T., and Gonzalez, Anthony H.. Fri . "The Diversity of Diffuse Ly α Nebulae around Star-forming Galaxies at High Redshift". United States. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/837/2/172.
@article{osti_22661279,
title = {The Diversity of Diffuse Ly α Nebulae around Star-forming Galaxies at High Redshift},
author = {Xue, Rui and Lee, Kyoung-Soo and Dey, Arjun and Inami, Hanae and Reddy, Naveen and Hong, Sungryong and Prescott, Moire K. M. and Jannuzi, Buell T. and Gonzalez, Anthony H.},
abstractNote = {We report the detection of diffuse Ly α emission, or Ly α halos (LAHs), around star-forming galaxies at z ≈ 3.78 and 2.66 in the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey Boötes field. Our samples consist of a total of ∼1400 galaxies, within two separate regions containing spectroscopically confirmed galaxy overdensities. They provide a unique opportunity to investigate how the LAH characteristics vary with host galaxy large-scale environment and physical properties. We stack Ly α images of different samples defined by these properties and measure their median LAH sizes by decomposing the stacked Ly α radial profile into a compact galaxy-like and an extended halo-like component. We find that the exponential scale-length of LAHs depends on UV continuum and Ly α luminosities, but not on Ly α equivalent widths or galaxy overdensity parameters. The full samples, which are dominated by low UV-continuum luminosity Ly α emitters ( M {sub UV} ≳ −21), exhibit LAH sizes of 5–6 kpc. However, the most UV- or Ly α- luminous galaxies have more extended halos with scale-lengths of 7–9 kpc. The stacked Ly α radial profiles decline more steeply than recent theoretical predictions that include the contributions from gravitational cooling of infalling gas and from low-level star formation in satellites. However, the LAH extent matches what one would expect for photons produced in the galaxy and then resonantly scattered by gas in an outflowing envelope. The observed trends of LAH sizes with host galaxy properties suggest that the physical conditions of the circumgalactic medium (covering fraction, H i column density, and outflow velocity) change with halo mass and/or star formation rates.},
doi = {10.3847/1538-4357/837/2/172},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 2,
volume = 837,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 10 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Fri Mar 10 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}