The Diversity of Diffuse Ly α Nebulae around Star-forming Galaxies at High Redshift
Prescott, Moire K. M.
Jannuzi, Buell T.
Gonzalez, Anthony H.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
galaxies: clusters: general
galaxies: distances and redshifts
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationThe Diversity of Diffuse Ly α Nebulae around Star-forming Galaxies at High Redshift 2017, 837 (2):172 The Astrophysical Journal
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Rights© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractWe report the detection of diffuse Ly alpha emission, or Lya halos (LAHs), around star-forming galaxies at z approximate to 3.78 and 2.66 in the NOAO Deep Wide-Field Survey Bootes field. Our samples consist of a total of similar to 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 alpha images of different samples defined by these properties and measure their median LAH sizes by decomposing the stacked Ly alpha 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 alpha luminosities, but not on Ly alpha equivalent widths or galaxy overdensity parameters. The full samples, which are dominated by low UV-continuum luminosity Lya emitters (M-UV greater than or similar to -21), exhibit LAH sizes of 5-6 kpc. However, the most UV- or Ly alpha-luminous galaxies have more extended halos with scale-lengths of 7-9 kpc. The stacked Ly alpha 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.
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