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Title: Anisotropic Lyman-alpha emission

As a result of resonant scatterings off hydrogen atoms, Lyα emission from star-forming galaxies provides a probe of the (hardly isotropic) neutral gas environment around them. We study the effect of the environmental anisotropy on the observed Lyα emission by performing radiative transfer calculations for models of neutral hydrogen clouds with prescriptions of spatial and kinematic anisotropies. The environmental anisotropy leads to corresponding anisotropy in the Lyα flux and spectral properties and induces correlations among them. The Lyα flux (or observed luminosity) depends on the viewing angle and shows an approximate correlation with the initial Lyα optical depth in the viewing direction relative to those in all other directions. The distribution of Lyα flux from a set of randomly oriented clouds is skewed to high values, providing a natural contribution to the Lyα equivalent width (EW) distribution seen in observation. A narrower EW distribution is found at a larger peak offset of the Lyα line, similar to the trend suggested in observation. The peak offset appears to correlate with the line shape (full width at half-maximum and asymmetry), pointing to a possibility of using Lyα line features alone to determine the systemic redshifts of galaxies. The study suggests that anisotropiesmore » in the spatial and kinematic distributions of neutral hydrogen can be an important ingredient in shaping the observed properties of Lyα emission from star-forming galaxies. We discuss the implications of using Lyα emission to probe the circumgalactic and intergalactic environments of galaxies.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Utah, 115 South 1400 East, Salt Lake City, UT 84112 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22370417
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 794; 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; ANISOTROPY; APPROXIMATIONS; ASYMMETRY; ATOMS; CORRELATIONS; COSMOLOGY; DISTRIBUTION; EMISSION; GALAXIES; HYDROGEN; INTERGALACTIC SPACE; LUMINOSITY; LYMAN LINES; RADIANT HEAT TRANSFER; RANDOMNESS; RED SHIFT; RESONANCE SCATTERING; STAR EVOLUTION; STARS; STATISTICS